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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Sleep System To Limit Daily Playtime to 8-10 Hours?

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197 posts found
  User Deleted
9/06/13 3:24:52 PM#21
It's just a game not a life accomplishment. I am sorry but if I am paying or buying into a game and I want to play all day and night through a holiday weekend then I should be able to, regardless of if Joey Too Much Job wants to whine about how unfair it is that he doesn't have enough time in his pretty little mind to play and "catch up" to "compete" with what ever edge I supposedly get out of having more fun time. And frankly if you have a problem with that then F you.
  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15627

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

9/06/13 3:28:35 PM#22
Originally posted by Arclan

 


Originally posted by Distopia


So you're essentially a fan of getting milked? That's what those "restrictions" were put in place for. The longer it took you to "cap" out, the longer your were paying a sub, as the level was the carrot in those days.

 

$15 a month for 240 hours of gameplay is about six cents an hour. My credit cards got paid off thanks to all that time I spent in EQ from 1999 to 2000. I had a blast every step of the way. The level was not the carrot; the world was.


When SWTOR came out and someone got max level on day 1 (or 2?), you know a huge pool of potential players just tuned out (myself included). A longer leveling curve is in a game's best interest for many reasons.

I completely disagree, A longer leveling curve is only essential in a game that doesn't offer much more than time sinks and dungeons. End game content and player synergy is what's needed, not long grinds. SWG, EVE, DAOC and UO are prime examples of this. It took little time to reach skill cap in SWG, which left years and years worth of play devoted to just doing that, playing. DAOC was all but killed due to trying to add too much vertical progression through gear grinds. Same could be said for SWG.

Oh and I am not a fan of what the op is suggesting.

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  spankybus

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/20/05
Posts: 1164

"Don''t touch that squirrel''s nuts!" - Willy Wonka

9/06/13 5:15:34 PM#23

Sorry, I dismissed your idea at face value.

 

i believe in Darwinism. 

Frank 'Spankybus' Mignone
www.spankybus.com
-3d Artist & Compositor
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  Yizle

Novice Member

Joined: 4/24/10
Posts: 530

9/06/13 5:40:27 PM#24
Originally posted by Traugar

Who are you to decide what is best for someone else?  Worry about yourself, and let people be. 

+1 This and Latronus had it correct. I do not need someone to dictate my life with their BS restrictions that are not needed. Tell me how long I can do something. I am grown man. I own my house and have a job. My free time I get to choose to use how I want.

 

[mod edit]

  Comaf

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/13/10
Posts: 1135

I want an mmorpg where pvp matters, my enemies are not my race or class, and community matters.

9/06/13 5:43:29 PM#25
Originally posted by seacow1g

Hey guys, here's a concept I've been thinking about for awhile now when I think about "better MMO design" :

Putting a cap on daily playtime

Now before you dismiss this concept at face-value, please consider some of my thoughts on the issue. 

I can see how such a system can look wildly unpopular. The mere notion of telling the player how much they can or cannot play seems absurd. But is it really in the players' best interests that we let them have the option to play day in and day out until they collapse from exhaustion? What are the benefits of this? Is the concept of total freedom so valuable to us that we ignore the potential game design as well as health benefits that we can extract from a capped experience? 

A game is seen as the players' "property" and as such we have been conditioned to design games with the notion that the player should be free to play it as much as they want/can. With most genres this works just fine because they have an "end" and/or are not designed to be played for extended amounts of time. But MMORPG's are a whole different beast. The MMO genre prides itself on how much of the players' time is can suck up. An MMO is designed to be played to the exclusion of almost everything else. Where most other types of games have an invisible"playtime cap" built into the game designs themselves, a great MMO is built by design to suck you in and keep you playing till you truly can't do so anymore due to real-life restraints. But allowing players to play unlimited hours in these kinds of games poses a number of design problems for the developer to deal with:

-Power creep

-Power leveling

-Gold farming

-Botting

-Players rushing through content too fast

-Players doing physical harm to themselves by playing too much

 

Is it really necessary to allow players to play 24 hours a day if they so chose? I don't think it is. If we examine the typical playtime of most "serious" gamers in MMO's, they typically play anywhere between 6-10 hours per day. This is even at most less than half of the full 24 hours per day that we allow players to play and yet by doing so we introduce so many problems for the developers to deal with. If we DID limit the amount of time players can play to 8-10 hours per day, most serious gamers would still get their fill of the game while we limit the potential for powergaming, gold farming, work-shift play and physical exhaustion that comes with games without a play-time cap. Not only would we substantially reduce these problems, but we'd also significantly lower the power gap between players with "skill" that play 3-4 hours per day and players that  just grind it out.

I think our next gen of MMO's should seriously consider implementing "sleep" type systems where your character can be logged in for 8-10 hours per day and then get fatigued/tired and be unable to participate in most character/progression related activities until they rest. The benefit of this system would be allowing hardcore players to still play hefty amounts of time per day while eliminating the encouragement of powergaming and limiting the powergaps between players that play moderate amounts of time and those few that choose to play all day. Additionally it will make gold farming and botting more complicated and provide more stability to the player economy. The reason I propose this kind of system rather than straight up forcing you to log off is the allow players the option to continue to engage in the social aspects of the game once they've played over the capped amount if they so choose to do so. Players may still opt to stay online to chat and interact with their guildies for unhealthy amounts of time but it is my opinion that they would feel much less incentivized to do so if that's all they can do and they wouldn't be potentially ruining game balance or burning through the content too fast if they chose to do so either.

It frightens me to think that there was a time when I played an average of 4-5 hours per night (not 8-10).  I wasn't married, didn't have children living with me, and had just enough spending money to get the $15.00 to Mythic each month.  The population that you are referring to must be the unemployed.  I honestly cannot fathom this kind of play time unless we are talking about someone who is literally rotting away behind a keyboard.

 

I get the concept of fun escape - but unless you are suffering from a physical disability (and then I say GO FOR IT!), there is something more deeply set at issue here if people feel that 8-10 hours a day is limiting them.

  rutaq

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/08/06
Posts: 416

9/06/13 6:09:14 PM#26
Originally posted by Arclan

I am a fan of restrictions that limit how fast players can level.


You may have gotten more "yes" votes if you worded it differently, rather than specifying 8-10 hours a day as the max. A player may not have been able to logon all week; and wants to pull an all nighter on the weekend.


Diminishing returns is another option; or an xp curve:

xp boost during the first 5 hours of the week.
normal xp for 5 to 40 hours.
diminished xp after 40 hours.

^^ This.   this curve would allow you to set the sweet spot on the outer edge of casual play and then have XP drop off a cliff quickly to help control the progression.

 

Maybe a Hybrid of a very limited amount of  playing XP you can earn ( steep curve / cliff based on time played in day)  then add to it a Study system like EvE.  So you consistent predictable advancement that can be slightly supplemented by focused play.

  Mendel

Elite Member

Joined: 7/22/11
Posts: 636

9/06/13 6:44:36 PM#27

I didn't vote in this poll, but I strongly lean towards 'No'.

The concept of limiting playing time is some kind of mechanism to keep all players at the same basic level.  It theoretically makes it difficult for anyone to basically out-level others.  But this really only restricts the players who start on Day 1.   A player who joins 2 months after the game launches will be a certain number of levels behind the bulk of the players, without any reasonable way to 'catch up'.

Why is keeping all players within a certain level range important to the game or the developers?  Some players in a competitive environment (PvP of some nature) might not want to fall behind those who want to devote 40-70 hours a week to playing.  But those same players won't mind having an advantage over the 'new' character, and I doubt they would 'give back' XP/money/items they gained to put the newbie on level ground with them.

A successful game will always have new characters.  Restrictions on playing time can only benefit the 3-hour-after-work player who are in the game's first generation of characters.   It artificially keeps these players 'close' to the bleeding-edge player.  Characters of either type who start after the first generation will be behind the first generation always.   Design that only favors a limited number of players is bad enough when developers produce content that 95% of the gaming population will never experience.   When that design cuts across all content, it is disastrous.

The first Plane of Sky raid I went on in EQ1 was a 6 hour then 14 hour then 10 hour affair.  It was grueling, and really made work a decidedly painful experience on Monday morning, but it was well worth it.  But an 8 hour a day limit would have cut 8 hours out of this one example, and presumably 8 hours worth of XP/money/items.   An 8 hour a week limit would have cancelled that entire weekend.

Logic, my dear, merely enables one to be wrong with great authority.

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

9/06/13 8:20:16 PM#28

 

Progression isn't a game.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"If the Damned gave you a roadmap, then you'd know just where to go"

  seacow1g

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  9/06/13 11:59:07 PM#29

Well, this went pretty much like I expected it to. Even though the vast majority of gamers (even serious ones) don't typically play more than 10 hours per day (70 hours per week!), the notion of being told how much you can or cannot play is vastly unpopular, even if you're never likely to play over the cap in the first place. Even if you put aside the health benefits to the players, putting a playtime cap (even one as large as 70 hours per week) does provide a lot of design benefits to the developer.

It's unreasonable to design so much content that it preoccupies players with regular daily play times greater than 14 hours. If you do that, your average and even semi-hardcore players that play an average of 20-40 hours per week will never be able to keep up.  So games aren't even designed to be played like that in the first place.

As for the argument that you should be able to stock up on monster energy drinks and grind to the finish within a couple of weeks is absurd too. We're talking about game design here. Let go of the notions of MMO's where the entire experience is a rush to the level cap. Hardly anybody is happy with that design. Let's get a grip of the fact that we're talking about really large playtime caps here; 70 hours per week is no joke! But what would a game gain from it?

Well since we know that content is already designed to preoccupy players within a certain playtime range, we can actually put a playtime cap around that level to ensure that they experience the content the way it was designed to be experienced. Why do we rush to the level cap? Cause we wanna be as strong as we can be of course. MMO's are competitive environments. But a lot of this competition is spawned from a trickle-down effect from the most hardcore gamers. Truth be told even they don't usually want to play more than 10 hours per day, but they do it anyway because they want to be the best. Well what if the game is designed so that you don't HAVE to play more than 10 hours per day to be the best? If no one else can play more than that, wheres the pressure for you to do so? Let's never forget either that 70 hours per week is no joke anyway, it's still plenty "hardcore". It just eliminates the potential for EXTREME powergaming which trickles down and puts alot of pressure on the rest of the community.

Why do you guys think the endgame in so many MMO's is so much more satisfying than the rest of the game? Well part of it DOES have to do with an artificial playtime cap that the endgame has. You can't level up anymore, your only means of advancement are raids and dungeons that have daily and weekly lockouts (ala WoW).....this means that you can only put so many hours into these progression activities every week before you can't progress any more that week. You feel less pressured and satisfied because you know if you beat the content within the lockout you don't have to do anymore until next week and no one can rush ahead of you because they have the same "cap" that you have. This is exactly the kind of feeling you'd get all game long in a game with a moderately high playtime cap. If you wanna be competitive you can put in a whole bunch of hours, but you never have to put in unreasonable hours because no one else can either.

  drakolas

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/08
Posts: 32

9/07/13 12:44:30 AM#30
I don't play 10 hours a day every day, but I do often play games for more than 10 hours and this sounds like too little time. RuneScape makes you restart the client every like 6 hours and there have been many times I've done this 2-3 times in a day, it's rather annoying. There are only certain days I can play and when I can I like to play hard. I've thought about a similar idea though, except it would have to be measured over like a 3 day period because some days you want to play harder and there isn't anything wrong with that. If they've played around 3 days straight then I think it's understandable to get them to take a break considering they're most likely either a bot, sharing their account, or making some pretty unhealthy choices. A lot of people probably don't agree with this and I've personally always used my ability to stay up for days at a time to my advantage in MMOs (specifically the more grindy ones), but I don't think caring about people's health is the worst thing ever.
  MyownGod

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 207

9/07/13 12:55:47 AM#31
Originally posted by Traugar

Who are you to decide what is best for someone else?  Worry about yourself, and let people be. 

Who are you to decide what he should write or not? LOL hypocrite.

  9Prejudice

Novice Member

Joined: 3/10/12
Posts: 32

9/07/13 12:56:59 AM#32
As some of the forum posters have already pointed out, I don't think it's the game developer's place, and definitely not yours, to impose a cap on anybody's playtime. They bought a game for full access. If you want to implement this, then the only way I suppose players will agree to it is if you charge maybe $3-5 a month as a subscription. Oh yeah, it's fair. 24/7 access currently goes for about $15, so 8 hours means $5 tops. 
  Jean-Luc_Picard

Elite Member

Joined: 1/10/13
Posts: 2784

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

9/07/13 1:03:39 AM#33

So I didn't have the time to play all week, and now it's week end, and I can't play as much as I want?

Sounds like a stupid idea to me...

Playing now: Archeage, WoW, Landmark, GW2

Top 3 MMORPGs played: UO, AC1 and WoW

Honorable mentions: AO, LotRO 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.

  seacow1g

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  9/07/13 1:19:17 AM#34

Ok so the biggest "logical" argument I've heard against this kind of system is the argument that you should be able to play more hours per day if you haven't had time to do so all week. So what about a weekly cap then? MMO's already pretty much do this at endgame with weekly lockout timers so what are your thoughts on that?

The whole reason I'm bringing this up in the first place is to lessen the pressure on players to grind more than they would normally like to anyway. Every gamer suffers from fatigue and even those of us that HAVE grinded 24/7 for a few weeks only did so to be competitive (not out of any innate desire to just be playing for that long). MMO's are designed to be played within certain average playtimes and you see this especially at endgame. Why not design the whole game to be played at that pace with a playtime cap. Maybe a weekly one would work better.

Also, if anyone can think of a system that achieves the same thing but wouldn't look so unattractive at face value to the players I'd love to hear your ideas on that too.

  VengeSunsoar

Elite Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4834

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

9/07/13 1:32:02 AM#35

Really?  Thats the "biggest logical comment" you've seen.

The biggest one I've seen is you don't have enough knowledge about a person, their habits, their lifestyle, their accomplishments, their health or any real or perceived health issues, nor do you have the right, to restrict someone's entertainment.  So putting in a system that would do that is completely arbitrary.

Thats it.

A restriction on xp, fine.

Devs making systems that repeat themselves so they don't have to design 24 hours a day of content fine.

Restricting someones ability to play.  No.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  seacow1g

Novice Member

Joined: 7/27/13
Posts: 260

 
OP  9/07/13 1:42:34 AM#36
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

Really?  Thats the "biggest logical comment" you've seen.

The biggest one I've seen is you don't have enough knowledge about a person, their habits, their lifestyle, their accomplishments, their health or any real or perceived health issues, nor do you have the right, to restrict someone's entertainment.  So putting in a system that would do that is completely arbitrary.

Thats it.

A restriction on xp, fine.

Devs making systems that repeat themselves so they don't have to desing 24 hours a day of content fine.

Restricting someones ability to play.  No.

So even though you as a player probably would hardly ever use 24 hours a day to play. Even though making it possible for other players able to do so pressures you into playing more hours than you really want to. Even though giving that option most likely harms your experience. You still want to defend the freedom to do so purely for the sake of freedom?

I argue no, giving the players 100% freedom is not necessarily good game design. These are competitive games. And furthermore these are games that actually increase the strength of your character the longer you play them, not just increase your skill level. Fatigue rarely has an impact on your ability to improve your character in these games until you hit the most extreme levels of exhaustion. In competitive games with more twitch gameplay like Starcraft or DOTA you still feel compelled to play many hours but you hit a plateau once you start getting fatigued. In those games even the pros feel like there is very little use to keep practicing after they've been playing 10-12 hours per day. But in MMORPG's? There's hardly ever any reason to stop until you pass out, and the players that do choose to do that put pressure that trickles down to everybody else. This is bad game design and it has a simple solution: Put some kind of cap for everyone's sake. It may take away a little bit of your freedom, but you probably weren't going to play that much anyway unless you felt compelled to.

 

And as for the 24 hour content comment, this isn't a matter of laziness. It's simply bad game design to make a game that's designed to be played 24 hours a day. The people that do that and play in shifts or something will simply be so far ahead that most other gamers will never catch up or get to experience any substantial portion of the content. Thankfully games are not made like that, mostly due to budget constraints but also largely because doing so would be a terrible game.

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4678

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

9/07/13 1:47:11 AM#37
Originally posted by seacow1g

-Power creep the reward for your effort.

-Power leveling some don't like certain level ranges. I didn't like Blade's Edge Mountains. At all.

-Gold farming shorter time means easier to minmax gold.

-Botting see above.

-Players rushing through content too fast why would their playstyle be invalid but not yours ?

-Players doing physical harm to themselves by playing too much not your business.

 

Is it really necessary to allow players to play 24 hours a day if they so chose? I don't think it is. I don't think it's necesary, but I also don't think it's your business to monitor my playtime. That's what NSA is for.

what about alts. multiple accounts ?

  VengeSunsoar

Elite Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4834

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

9/07/13 1:54:43 AM#38
Originally posted by seacow1g
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar

Really?  Thats the "biggest logical comment" you've seen.

The biggest one I've seen is you don't have enough knowledge about a person, their habits, their lifestyle, their accomplishments, their health or any real or perceived health issues, nor do you have the right, to restrict someone's entertainment.  So putting in a system that would do that is completely arbitrary.

Thats it.

A restriction on xp, fine.

Devs making systems that repeat themselves so they don't have to desing 24 hours a day of content fine.

Restricting someones ability to play.  No.

So even though you as a player probably would hardly ever use 24 hours a day to play. Even though making it possible for other players able to do so pressures you into playing more hours than you really want to. Even though giving that option most likely harms your experience. You still want to defend the freedom to do so purely for the sake of freedom?

I argue no, giving the players 100% freedom is not necessarily good game design. These are competitive games. And furthermore these are games that actually increase the strength of your character the longer you play them, not just increase your skill level. Fatigue rarely has an impact on your ability to improve your character in these games until you hit the most extreme levels of exhaustion. In competitive games with more twitch gameplay like Starcraft or DOTA you still feel compelled to play many hours but you hit a plateau once you start getting fatigued. In those games even the pros feel like there is very little use to keep practicing after they've been playing 10-12 hours per day. But in MMORPG's? There's hardly ever any reason to stop until you pass out, and the players that do choose to do that put pressure that trickles down to everybody else. This is bad game design and it has a simple solution: Put some kind of cap for everyone's sake. It may take away a little bit of your freedom, but you probably weren't going to play that much anyway unless you felt compelled to.

 

And as for the 24 hour content comment, this isn't a matter of laziness. It's simply bad game design to make a game that's designed to be played 24 hours a day. The people that do that and play in shifts or something will simply be so far ahead that most other gamers will never catch up or get to experience any substantial portion of the content. Thankfully games are not made like that, mostly due to budget constraints but also largely because doing so would be a terrible game.

What I choose to do or not do is my choice – if I choose to play 10 minutes or 12 hours.  Letting others pressure me is also my choice.  I can choose to let them pressure me or I can choose to ignore them.  Harming my experience is also my choice. I can choose to do something that harms my experience or I can choose to do a different thing or I can choose to do that activity and look at it in a different light so I’m still having fun.  So yes I do still want to defend freedom and choice purely for the sake of freedom and choice, rather than accept tyranny and oppression which is what you are presenting. 

I’m not arguing for 100% freedom, that is a strawman argument.  Games have rules.  I’m saying this rule is bad.  You don’t have the information or right to make this decision for someone else. 

Bad game design would be to limit access to the game that someone is paying for simply because you made an arbitrary and uninformed decision that it's bad for them.

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  theAsna

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/16/09
Posts: 303

9/07/13 1:56:31 AM#39

 

I vote option (3) - It's a futile attempt

 

Having a sleep/fatigue mechanism could work. But the most likely outcome is that players will resort to twinking. If a character gets fatigued they might simply switch to another character. So you have imposed a restriction which effectively was a waste of dev time.

Even if you implement such a mechanism per account and not per character it would be no issue to circumvent this restriction by creating a 2nd or 3rd account. You could introduce IP tracking to make sure that someone doesn't circumvent this restriction (or other technical means). No matter what you do, there will always be a way to circumvent the restriction. The only thing you do is to raise the bars to do so. But then it takes only one person to find a way how to circumvent the restriction and publish it over the internet.

 

Another option would be to introduce a day/night cycle in the game world. Ideally NPCs would be at different locations depending on the current hour (e.g. at home sleeping, at work, etc.). NPC merchants/auctioneers would be available only through the day time. Quest givers might be at different locations at different times. If the game world would enforce an activity cycle in such a way it would be more likely that players would as well adhere to it. On a second thought you'd shut out a large part of your player base because they happen to live in the wrong time zone.

 

The really important question is: Why do you have to restrict a player's play time in the first place?

 

How many 24/7 players do you find per game? Do they really make up a significant part of the player base? An ordinary person has a lot of RL stuff to attend to (e.g. school, work, friends, family, sleeping, other hobbies, etc.). So their play time is already restricted by other factors. Even if they happen to dedicate some more time to playing (e.g. because of holidays, time in between changing jobs, transition from high school to college, etc.) it's only for a certain period of time.

Are people afraid that they might fall behind others (.e.g inferior equipment, not reaching level cap fast enough, etc.)? In particular themepark games are built around a static game world. Players do meta gaming to optimize their game play (e.g. maximise XP earned per minute). Players organize in guilds / raid groups to achieve certain goals faster (with the drawback that you have to attend to scheduled play times).

 

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5252

9/07/13 1:58:55 AM#40
You do realise in this age of MMO's for maximum profit, the idea of limiting playing time will never float? Suggest that one at a SOE board meeting and you can expect to be looking for a new job real soon. :)
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