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General Discussion 

The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » "Instance vs. Open" Poll

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214 posts found

Novice Member

Joined: 7/13/13
Posts: 68

OP  7/20/13 11:40:14 AM#1

Greetings and Salutations all.. Thought I'd throw this poll question out there to see what the general opinion was in the current MMO gamer population.. With all the talk of sandbox vs. themepark.. instances vs. open world.. and like or hate of dungeon finders.. My question is a (not so) simple one..


Edit: By a few responses, I think the question itself might have been misunderstood or poorly worded on my part.. A seamless or open world encompasses the main adventuring area in the scenario presented.. What I am specifically referring to are the dungeons in games..

Example: Open world dungeons are integrated into the seamless world and are therefore open to anyone who comes along.. An instanced dungeon is a portal in the open world that leads to a private area that only a soloer/group/ or raid can enter.. Any others go into their own version of the instance.. (example: WoW)




In the game of your dreams, what sort of dungeon/mission type would you have?

Instances.. I want my dungeon to be private to my self/group/raid..
Instances.. I like the above answer, but I think instances should be scaled to challenge the level or number of people entering..
Open World.. I like the old school style of dungeons where I could run into anyone and camp if I choose to..
Open World.. I enjoy open dungeons, but still would love to see a method to throw in random challenges/spawns..
Other.. Please Explain..
(login to vote)

You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which IS reality. - Ogata


Novice Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2668

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

7/20/13 11:43:59 AM#2
I prefer variety thus it should have both.... I voted other for this.



Joined: 12/11/08
Posts: 14702

7/20/13 11:46:49 AM#3
Here we go again.  The proper question isn't whether an MMORPG should be instanced, but how.  To not use any sort of instancing whatsoever would require such wildly inefficient programming techniques that the game would surely be vaporware.

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/25/10
Posts: 1212

7/20/13 11:57:43 AM#4

Instanced if I'm looking for challenge in PvE, just for the simple fact that there is no technically challenging fight that exists in an open world environment.

Instancing allows for a better freedom for creation and the ability to tailor fights for that perfect dungeon experience.


As far as dungeon finders are concerned, I would be interested to see them implemented into the game world in a sensible fashion as to not break immersion. I'm sure it could be done if one were to put enough thought into it. Essentially the opposite of how waypoints in Guild Wars 2 are handled.



Also Quizzical is right, an uninstanced MMO simply doesn't exist, it's simply how you represent loading that depicts the quality of your instancing. For clarification I was stating that I prefer well-tailored and structured boss fights, rather than mindless zerging. As I'm assuming that was what the OP was looking for.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/03/04
Posts: 548

7/20/13 11:59:48 AM#5

One of the main reasons I like the open world aspect is that it makes the game more social. When you go into a dungeon and its instances, it becomes very closed feeling.
I remember Karnor in EQ1 and it was a challenging dungeon, even when there were other people there.. the trains were such a pain in the ass, but It was fun. The trains added a level of difficulty not found in instanced dungeons.

Just because I'm a gamer doesn't mean I drive a Honda.

It's an Orange thing


Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 8339

7/20/13 12:13:35 PM#6
Originally posted by Quizzical
Here we go again.  The proper question isn't whether an MMORPG should be instanced, but how.  To not use any sort of instancing whatsoever would require such wildly inefficient programming techniques that the game would surely be vaporware.

Also the OP doesn't realize that instanced and open world are not mutually exclusive.


The question should be zoned (separated by loading screens) vs seamless.

Players separated in Multi-instances/phases vs all players in a single world.

Also multi shard vs One World design.

Open world in itself is pretty meaningless, as parts can still be instanced - example Defiance, One world server (per platform, no shard select), outside area is seamless but uses regional phasing.



Novice Member

Joined: 7/13/13
Posts: 68

OP  7/20/13 12:23:57 PM#7

The OP realizes exactly what he is asking.. :)


Join date and post numbers aside, I have been in the MMO genre since its inception.. I created this poll in its most general form, representing the usual dungeon/mission types currently (or previously) used in MMOs.. I also made sure to add the "other" option to include those who favored the inclusion of both types or something new entirely..


I appreciate all the responses so far, as it is very enlightening..

You have your fear, which might become reality; and you have Godzilla, which IS reality. - Ogata


Elite Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 3578

There... are... four... lights!

7/20/13 12:28:28 PM#8

The poll is incomplete since it doesn't include a "both, well balanced" option. So I did vote "Other".

I enjoy games where you have both, open world areas and dungeons you can meet other people in AND instanced areas for the more challenging content so you can focus on the content instead of having to compete to be the first guy to tag the mob to get the loot.

I think the future lies in open world (be it landscape or dungeon) mobs with "collective tagging" features so that everyone involved gets rewarded, and instanced (be it landscape or dungeon) mobs balanced for a specific group size for the most challenging content. Note that this group size doesn't have to be a 40 man raid, the game can be limited to 5 man dungeons without problems. Actually I think groups larger than 10-15 persons become problematic (aka organizational nightmares) for instanced content.

I also think that shared loot (like e.g. in GW2) is the future for loot distribution - no one should leave a dungeon he spent sometimes several hours in without reward if his group his victorious, no matter if the dungeon is instanced or not.

Playing now: WoW, Landmark, GW2, The Crew, SotA

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO, SW:TOR and GW2.


"The ability to speak doesn't make you intelligent" - Qui-gon Jinn. After many years of reading Internet forums, there's no doubt that neither does the ability to write.
So if you notice that I'm no longer answering your nonsense, stop trying... because you just joined my block list.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/18/07
Posts: 146

7/20/13 12:40:09 PM#9
While I have fond memories of EQ and meeting people in dungeons... Instances were created to fix problems... Going back to the original problems instances fixed is not the answer. EQ2's system is probably the best, which is a combination of both.

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/24/10
Posts: 779

7/20/13 12:52:21 PM#10

Whatever it takes for the developers to make their game fun.

Practice doesn't make perfect, practice makes permanent.

"There are still vast swaths of our planet's surface in which it's surprisingly easy to lose things. Even a ship the size of a large building." Richard Fisher


Novice Member

Joined: 4/11/13
Posts: 880

7/20/13 12:53:50 PM#11

Dungeons/Raids - Instanced

Everything else - Open


I suppose if the game had "personal story" type missions then those would be instanced too.


I don't see how having open world raids makes the game "more social". Isn't seeing the other raid members you are with social enough? While you are busy trying to defeat the big bad guy, why is seeing other people not included in your group important? Shouldn't you be focusing on the task at hand? Or do you expect to be carried by the rest of the raid while you chit-chat with every passerby?


Novice Member

Joined: 7/08/13
Posts: 205

7/20/13 2:29:42 PM#12

Both. Having an integration of both open world and instances allows for more exploration as well as less strain on servers, less ridiculously sized zones, less of that 'lobby' feel, and more variation in zones.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6038

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

7/20/13 3:14:16 PM#13
I bet a solution to enable seamless instancing and clever use of phasing would be worth something.

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


Novice Member

Joined: 4/18/10
Posts: 2657

7/20/13 3:21:14 PM#14

I prefer worlds be more like old EQ, and Vanguard, not like TOR.


Everything being instanced makes me feel like I am playing a lobby game, not a real mmo.



Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2604

7/20/13 3:23:10 PM#15
Originally posted by goozmania
While I have fond memories of EQ and meeting people in dungeons... Instances were created to fix problems... Going back to the original problems instances fixed is not the answer. EQ2's system is probably the best, which is a combination of both.

Ooor, we could fix the problem with good game design, like DAoC did, rather than putting in instances out of ineptitude.


Advanced Member

Joined: 2/28/04
Posts: 4744

7/20/13 3:24:37 PM#16

I actually prefer instanced Dungeons but a seamless world.

I hate instanced zones though.


Elite Member

Joined: 10/07/03
Posts: 1591

7/20/13 3:27:09 PM#17
Originally posted by Quizzical
Here we go again.  The proper question isn't whether an MMORPG should be instanced, but how.  To not use any sort of instancing whatsoever would require such wildly inefficient programming techniques that the game would surely be vaporware.

Funny how there are games without any instancing and they work fine.... 


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3922

7/20/13 3:46:53 PM#18
Open World all the way..  Instance was a mechanic that should of never made it's way into MMORPG's..  As for the open world, I like both a little camping and randomness.. It keeps you alert :)

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 6038

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

7/20/13 3:51:45 PM#19

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


Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 13653

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

7/20/13 3:57:56 PM#20
Originally posted by Quizzical
Here we go again.  The proper question isn't whether an MMORPG should be instanced, but how.  To not use any sort of instancing whatsoever would require such wildly inefficient programming techniques that the game would surely be vaporware.

Quizzical hits on the most important and most overlooked part. It all depends on the content and the type of experience that the devs are trying to deliver. While I enjoy open dungeons like AC, L2 and UO, it's clear that such dungeons aren't conducive to any type of personalized or scripted content without finding yet another work around (phasing is one) to try to compensate for the shortcomings of the public environment.

There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein

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