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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Is there too much violence in MMOs?

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  TheScavenger

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 695

Those who ask a question, are stupid for 30 seconds. Those who never ask, are stupid for life.

 
OP  9/12/13 11:18:52 AM#1

Was recently reading: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/09/12/training-simulation-mass-killers-often-share-obsession-with-violent-video-games/

 

And it got me thinking. Unlike singleplayer RPGs, like Deus Ex, Skyrim and what not. MMORPGs never let you go the peaceful route. Its always kill kill kill, or supply equipment for people to kill kill kill.

 

Deus Ex, you can stealth past all content without a single death. Skyrim you don't need to fight at all (and there are play throughs of that).

 

However, MMOs, seem to be stuck in the primitive past of killing. And I'm sure many killers in the above link probably played MMOs, like WoW and what not. And then there is of course MMOFPS games like Planetside...those are very bloody and violent, more so than even a regular FPS.

 

The only genre I can think of that has no issues with training killers or making people violent are MMORTS games, but those are rare. Likewise the whole strategy genre is filled with peaceful people, that while, yes, there is killing, it isn't nearly as violent (in most cases, except Warhammer is super violent).

 

I think MMOs need to catch up to the times, and offer peaceful routes that have no relation to violence. And that probably means being able to stealth through content like in Deus Ex, or be able to beat quests/dungeons peacefully like in Skyrim. As they are, again, stuck in the primitive past of killing. And mass murderers thrive off this, as sort of said in that news article.

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  asrlohz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/29/11
Posts: 664

Alea iacta est, beloved Doomsayers.

9/12/13 11:26:34 AM#2

MMO's require  A LOT of content to keep people interested. Way more than you'll ever find in games like Skyrim or Deus Ex. Whilst that content might not be as well made, that's a sacrifice that has to be made.

 

Multi-approach levels require a massive amount of level design that you simply cannot afford to allocate staff to. MMOs are usually much more expensive compared to singleplayer games since MMOs are made to last and hence requires a massive amount movie and time invested in it.

 

Not to mention the fact that min-maxers would most likely go with the friendly approach. Using conversational options to avoid combat and finish quests just to finish them. And most people who create alts don't do it because they feel like redoing all the content but because they want to play that class. They too would go with the quickest route available, most people would. MMOs are never as fun in regards of gameplay and storytelling as singleplayer games, so all of those choices you were talking about do not make sense. If people want that they'd play games made around that idea. Co op or Singleplayer games.

  umie214

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/10/12
Posts: 125

9/12/13 11:31:27 AM#3

not enough violence in MMO's. not even close to realistic levels. actually, most dont even feature blood. 

but i understand what you mean about killing, killing and more killing. the only other things are crafting, gathering and exploring. thing u have to understand about most MMO's is they deal with this fantasy/medieval era when in fact people mostly just killed each other for territory and thrones. 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20181

9/12/13 11:32:00 AM#4
Originally posted by asrlohz

MMO's require  A LOT of content to keep people interested. Way more than you'll ever find in games like Skyrim or Deus Ex. Whilst that content might not be as well made, that's a sacrifice that has to be made.

That can be changed with F2P. No one says you need to keep players for years to make money.

I finished the story content of Marvel Heroes. It took me 30 hours. It works for them.

  asrlohz

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/29/11
Posts: 664

Alea iacta est, beloved Doomsayers.

9/12/13 11:44:50 AM#5
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by asrlohz

MMO's require  A LOT of content to keep people interested. Way more than you'll ever find in games like Skyrim or Deus Ex. Whilst that content might not be as well made, that's a sacrifice that has to be made.

That can be changed with F2P. No one says you need to keep players for years to make money.

I finished the story content of Marvel Heroes. It took me 30 hours. It works for them.

Don't be silly. Of course you don't need to keep players for years to make money. Cowclickers wouldn't exist if that was true. But MMO's are social games. They rely on people staying for a longer period of time. It's more profitable to have a loyal playerbase and some nomads rather than having whales come in and spend tons of money just to stop playing it. That's not healthy for a MMO.

 

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20181

9/12/13 11:57:28 AM#6
Originally posted by asrlohz
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by asrlohz

MMO's require  A LOT of content to keep people interested. Way more than you'll ever find in games like Skyrim or Deus Ex. Whilst that content might not be as well made, that's a sacrifice that has to be made.

That can be changed with F2P. No one says you need to keep players for years to make money.

I finished the story content of Marvel Heroes. It took me 30 hours. It works for them.

Don't be silly. Of course you don't need to keep players for years to make money. Cowclickers wouldn't exist if that was true. But MMO's are social games. They rely on people staying for a longer period of time. It's more profitable to have a loyal playerbase and some nomads rather than having whales come in and spend tons of money just to stop playing it. That's not healthy for a MMO.

 

 

They don't have to. Typical F2P MMO retention is what ... 3-4 months? So MMO has already changed enough to account for players staying for a few months only. WHo says they cannot change further to further reduce the length of stay needed.

And i don't view MMO as social games, and i don't play them as such. Given the popularity of solo-centric design, and LFD, i doubt many players play MMOs for socials.

 

  TheScavenger

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/05/12
Posts: 695

Those who ask a question, are stupid for 30 seconds. Those who never ask, are stupid for life.

 
OP  9/12/13 12:37:23 PM#7
Originally posted by umie214

not enough violence in MMO's. not even close to realistic levels. actually, most dont even feature blood. 

but i understand what you mean about killing, killing and more killing. the only other things are crafting, gathering and exploring. thing u have to understand about most MMO's is they deal with this fantasy/medieval era when in fact people mostly just killed each other for territory and thrones. 

Yes, that is kinda the point of this post right there. Crafting is only good in sandbox games, useless in themeparks. Literally, at least in WoW...blacksmithing was so useless. Every armor/weapon I made I got better in a dungeon.

 

The only things that were useful that were really hard to get in the game world, was probably jewelcrafting, alchemy...umm...enchanting I think it was? And tailoring was kinda a fun one since cloth items were sorta hard to get and linen/wool was so easy to get.

 

However...housing...this is probably the best anti-killing thing an MMO can put in. Sadly, a lot of MMOs do away with this and most are instanced. The best instanced housing is probably EQ2 (does EQ have it?).

 

But the best housing system by far was UO...building the house brick by brick. And SWG comes in at 2nd.

 

But why don't MMOs let you stealth through dungeons and quests? This could be a great solution to more variety. You can kill through a dungeon, and that probably be easier. Or you can be sneaky and stealth through it to the end. Or other peaceful approaches?

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My (mostly) scenery screenshots of heavily modded Skyrim

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  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3418

9/12/13 1:24:56 PM#8
     IMO.. We do have a problem not only with gaming in general, but TV and movies as well..  Most are very graphic and it's a fact the mind can be desensitized if exposed to certain content long enough..  Everyone is different, so that "red line" of what is too much is very subjective.. But it is there, make no mistake about that.. 
  psiic

Elite Member

Joined: 6/03/09
Posts: 643

9/12/13 1:28:43 PM#9

Is this post for real? 

 

Seriously OP if it bothers you go play Hello Kitty Online.

  DamonVile

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4909

9/12/13 1:29:29 PM#10
I don't think the violence we have is too much, but I agree more options than what will you kill today would make a better game.
  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20181

9/12/13 1:31:54 PM#11
No.  The whole point of many games is to give player faked violence.
  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19251

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

9/12/13 1:47:43 PM#12

I wouldn't mind MMO's having ways to complete content outside of killing, in addition to stealthing, perhaps a player could negotiate their way past the Orcs, maybe by helping them build their village and then going peacefully through their lands rather and slashing and burning.

Not sure this could work 100% of the time, perhaps, but might be a lot of work that caters to only a smaller player base.

You mentioned player housing, and truthfully, I understand that some people enjoy it, but in my case I can completely leave it out of my games.  I own a real house, not interested in an in game one.

I'm playing a DAOC shard, and I have houses there, but only because they offer me specific functionality such as extra vault space or bind stones, otherwise I don't spend a gold piece to decorate them in any way, bare walls everywhere you look.

Others of course go all out setting up their virtual homes, but I think MMO devs have decided (right or wrong) that the majority of the player base can live without player housing (blame WOW for that, look at its popularity despite not having it) so it remains a niche feature that won't always be provided.

 

 

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  Drakynn

Novice Member

Joined: 3/02/08
Posts: 2051

9/12/13 1:56:23 PM#13
Originally posted by Kyleran

I wouldn't mind MMO's having ways to complete content outside of killing, in addition to stealthing, perhaps a player could negotiate their way past the Orcs, maybe by helping them build their village and then going peacefully through their lands rather and slashing and burning.

Not sure this could work 100% of the time, perhaps, but might be a lot of work that caters to only a smaller player base.

You mentioned player housing, and truthfully, I understand that some people enjoy it, but in my case I can completely leave it out of my games.  I own a real house, not interested in an in game one.

I'm playing a DAOC shard, and I have houses there, but only because they offer me specific functionality such as extra vault space or bind stones, otherwise I don't spend a gold piece to decorate them in any way, bare walls everywhere you look.

Others of course go all out setting up their virtual homes, but I think MMO devs have decided (right or wrong) that the majority of the player base can live without player housing (blame WOW for that, look at its popularity despite not having it) so it remains a niche feature that won't always be provided.

 

 

I agree with this even though I'm not a big carer of housing in MMOs,I am a big fan of variety in MMOs including alternative solutions to quests than killing.However I do recognize without instancing everything implementing such variety could be too time consuming and complex to be financially worth it.

As too the larger question of is there too much violence in media?I would say there is plenty of non violent media to consume out there if you want...the choice is entirely up tot he consumer.Video game Specific there has been there has been a plethoria of non violent games  released in the last few years particularly in the indie scene.

Also I can't believe the basis of this thread is a Fox News report...you can never take any major news channel report at face value anymore you have to ask what political agenda they are pushing with it.

  sunshadow21

Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/04
Posts: 355

9/12/13 2:06:35 PM#14
Originally posted by TheScavenger
 

But why don't MMOs let you stealth through dungeons and quests? This could be a great solution to more variety. You can kill through a dungeon, and that probably be easier. Or you can be sneaky and stealth through it to the end. Or other peaceful approaches?

The problem with stealth is that network issues, any network issues, are going to become very, very apparent and problematic. Other peaceful approaches are difficult because they can vary so much in both approach and potential results that it would be hard to really design them in a way that would please most people. For better or worse, combat is fairly easy to design and has consistent results, making it an effective solution for MMOs. Oftentimes, it's also the only effective, and cost efficient, solution available to the devs; sandbox games have a little more leeway, but the only real way to get other effective solutions is to make it so most conflicts are player vs player, like EVE, rather than player vs NPC.

  rojoArcueid

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5698

"It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver". - Niccolo Machiavelli

9/12/13 2:07:20 PM#15
Originally posted by asrlohz

MMO's require  A LOT of content to keep people interested. Way more than you'll ever find in games like Skyrim or Deus Ex. Whilst that content might not be as well made, that's a sacrifice that has to be made.

 

Multi-approach levels require a massive amount of level design that you simply cannot afford to allocate staff to. MMOs are usually much more expensive compared to singleplayer games since MMOs are made to last and hence requires a massive amount movie and time invested in it.

 

Not to mention the fact that min-maxers would most likely go with the friendly approach. Using conversational options to avoid combat and finish quests just to finish them. And most people who create alts don't do it because they feel like redoing all the content but because they want to play that class. They too would go with the quickest route available, most people would. MMOs are never as fun in regards of gameplay and storytelling as singleplayer games, so all of those choices you were talking about do not make sense. If people want that they'd play games made around that idea. Co op or Singleplayer games.

mmos have the potential to work the same way as a great single player game when it comes to features. Do not use the "sacrifices to be made because its an mmo" in order to accept mediocre games. Not only they cost more to make, but they generate a lot more money than single player games. These big companies have the resources (and the technology) to evolve the mmo genre. I do not disagree with you on your post, only on that part about the sacrifice. That was understandable years ago when mmos couldnt have many features because technology couldnt handle it. THose times are long gone. COmpanies who still stick to " its an mmo so we have to sacrifice features in order to do this and that" shouldnt be developing mmos because they are the ones preventing the genre from evolving. My personal opinion.

  sunshadow21

Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/04
Posts: 355

9/12/13 2:33:19 PM#16
Originally posted by rojo6934

mmos have the potential to work the same way as a great single player game when it comes to features. Do not use the "sacrifices to be made because its an mmo" in order to accept mediocre games. Not only they cost more to make, but they generate a lot more money than single player games. These big companies have the resources (and the technology) to evolve the mmo genre. I do not disagree with you on your post, only on that part about the sacrifice. That was understandable years ago when mmos couldnt have many features because technology couldnt handle it. THose times are long gone. COmpanies who still stick to " its an mmo so we have to sacrifice features in order to do this and that" shouldnt be developing mmos because they are the ones preventing the genre from evolving. My personal opinion.

Where the sacrifice comes is the fact that a larger audience means that a lot of things that work very well in a single player game simply don't work as well, if at all, in an MMO. You can't rely on the technology on the user's end to be up to par to effectively support anything that will require a solid, consistent, and potentially hefty network connection, and you can rely even less on getting thousands of people to agree on what qualifes as good alternatives to combat (or good content/features in general). If the sacrifices were purely tech based on the developer's side of things, I could see your argument, but they go into the root design of the games and how they are delivered that cannot be completely ignored. Designing content for thousands of concurrent users talking over what is still a potentially unreliable network for many creates challenges that other types of games simply don't have. The best company in the world can't effectively eliminate factors beyond their control, and MMO developers have to deal with a lot of such issues as well as having to find a way to please thousands of people without offending anyone overly much. The budgets maybe larger, but they don't scale up as quickly or as much as the additional inherent challenges that come with dev created content. This means that compared to single player games, MMOs are always going to lack in the areas of story, features, and overall customization of gameplay when the focus is on dev created content. MMOs can shine in other areas, especially player driven and/or created content, but they do not the potential to work as a great single player game for very long because the development of them has to deal with completely different issues.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20181

9/12/13 9:29:56 PM#17
Originally posted by sunshadow21
they do not the potential to work as a great single player game for very long because the development of them has to deal with completely different issues.

They don't need to. SP games don't last very long anyway. Just have a short, good quality piece of SP content.

  sunshadow21

Novice Member

Joined: 8/15/04
Posts: 355

9/13/13 3:26:06 AM#18
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by sunshadow21
they do not the potential to work as a great single player game for very long because the development of them has to deal with completely different issues.

They don't need to. SP games don't last very long anyway. Just have a short, good quality piece of SP content.

That's great, for the first wave, and even the second wave of such games can do tolerably well, but then you run into the problem with later waves that the first games are still around, creating competition and expectations that the newer games have a tremendous amount of difficulty overcoming, something that is not an issue with single player games. This is the piece of the puzzle that so many people don't understand. MMO's don't usually die even if they are designed to be a short experience, and you can only have so many of the same type of game being supported at once before they all lose their appeal. You simply cannot treat MMOs the same way as you do single player games without creating a massive glut of similar games that are all competing directly with each other, and in the end, cannabalizing each other. I get that you and much of the current market likes MMOs that pretend to be single player games, but it's not sustainable, and it's certainly not going to lead to better stories and mechanics in MMOs because the companies that make them are not going to tolerate ten million dollar budgets for what is basically a throwaway single player game.

Heck, your approach doesn't even work all that well in single player games. Almost all of the popular single player games are heavily modable, allowing players to create their own content after playing through what is often a lackluster official campaign. Devs of any game simply cannot create enough content on their own to satisfy the ravenous horde of content locusts, and the locusts are going to continue stripping down anything of value before moving on, leaving nothing behind for either themselves or the devs to work with for the next game.

In the end, the noncombat options and activities are the first to disappear, as they have already in most post WoW themeparks. They cost more money, and they are less likely to be used by a vast majority of the players, making them a poor investment. We're starting to see a counter reaction to this, and it will only grow larger as more people get tired of the "play it and forget it" mechanics so common today.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20181

9/13/13 10:19:58 PM#19
Originally posted by sunshadow21
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by sunshadow21
they do not the potential to work as a great single player game for very long because the development of them has to deal with completely different issues.

They don't need to. SP games don't last very long anyway. Just have a short, good quality piece of SP content.

That's great, for the first wave, and even the second wave of such games can do tolerably well, but then you run into the problem with later waves that the first games are still around, creating competition and expectations that the newer games have a tremendous amount of difficulty overcoming, something that is not an issue with single player games. This is the piece of the puzzle that so many people don't understand. MMO's don't usually die even if they are designed to be a short experience, and you can only have so many of the same type of game being supported at once before they all lose their appeal. You simply cannot treat MMOs the same way as you do single player games without creating a massive glut of similar games that are all competing directly with each other, and in the end, cannabalizing each other. I get that you and much of the current market likes MMOs that pretend to be single player games, but it's not sustainable, and it's certainly not going to lead to better stories and mechanics in MMOs because the companies that make them are not going to tolerate ten million dollar budgets for what is basically a throwaway single player game.

May be .. 2 points.

1) I don't actually particularly care if this is sustainable. Entertainment changes all the time. I am playing ipad today and the ipad did not even exist 5 years ago. Who knows what entertainment will look like in the long run? The important thing (to me) is that they are available now, i pretty much use entertainment as i see fit.

2) You can 100% predict the future. It may be sustainable. Old MMOs may close faster (instead of 10 years, may be only 2) and give waves to new ones. Who knows?

  buddhaneo99

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/06/13
Posts: 30

"I've forgotten more about combat than you'll ever know!" Captain America

9/14/13 2:38:44 AM#20

You want the short answer... No!

 

There's a line from an INXS song and it says, "When its bad, it ain't bad enough!!"

 

Food for thought...

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