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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Why So Many MMOs Disappoint

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170 posts found
  Boneserino

Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 801

9/30/13 2:18:54 PM#41
Originally posted by ThomasN7

I can add something to Mr Bill's list...

Trying to re-invent the mmo genre when it wasn't broken in the first place. MMO's like EverQuest, WOW, UO, DAOC and FFXI were keeping mmo players happy. Not every mmo was the same and they all provided something different for everyone. When devs and publishers wanted to cater to the casuals and go mainstream that is when the industry started to fail hard. MMOs are not soley just for casuals, they never were.

 

I kind of disagree with this.

I think lots of things could be done to improve old MMO's.  They may have been more difficult but not always in a good way.  I think it is obvious that graphical improvements make new games more appealing to look at and help immersion a bit.  But the gameplay is still essentially the same, they have just taken a lot of the "work" out of it. 

Its the work aspect that a lot of people rembember as good gameplay.  The work of getting your corpse.   The work of camping a boss. The work of grinding weeks for a level.   To me that was not or is good gameplay.  Sure, you might have gotten a mild sense of accomplishment because it took you so damn long to do anything.    I like dying in a game, don't get me wrong.   But dying and then being severely punished for it, is not what I want.  What I want is having to rethink my strategy as to why I failed and then respond in a new way.  Not just increase my level or my gear and come back and do it again.

Lots of room for improvement with old games I think.

FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  DavisFlight

Elite Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2586

9/30/13 2:19:50 PM#42
Originally posted by Boneserino
Originally posted by BMBender
Originally posted by Boneserino
 

Make the NPCs have more human behaviour and I think we will be on the right track to more enjoyment in our fantasy worlds.

It's not been a technical or programing problem for a long time. it's been a balancing one.  It's been tried b4 problem scaling difficulty of ai to match the abilities of any particular player is a guessing game at best.  The wider a games demographic range the more slop gets built into the system.

Well here is a question.

If an NPC is confronted by a more powerful force, would it not make sense for that character to try to run or protect itself?  And also, If a stronger NPC see's you coming would it not make sense for that NPC to try and stalk you and hunt you down for a kill?  You might be walking down a path, unaware of said character, who then waits for an opportunity to surprise and ambush you.

Instead we get stationary mobs that wait for the player who obviously has the upper hand to annihilate them, and then complains how easy it was.

Why can't the former be done instead of the latter?  Is it a programming issue? A gameplay issue?  If it can be done, then why isn't it?

It used to be done, that's how mob AI used to work. It is how it works in Darkfall.

The reason it isn't done is because that would be hard, and AAA MMOs aren't allowed to be hard. They need to be instanced and scaled so no one ever loses or gets frustrated. It needs to be identical to WoW to even get funding.

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7251

9/30/13 2:21:30 PM#43

Stop making the same game with different skins.

 

Stop with the beta NDAs. At this point beta NDAs feel like a cheap trick. What do you have to hide so late in the process? 

 

 

When I eat chocolate chip pie it just doesn't feel like chocolate chip cookies. The texture, the consistency, it's just not the same and this is disappointing.

  knightaudit

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/06/05
Posts: 244

Those are my thoughts, not yours

9/30/13 2:25:02 PM#44

I think you hit the nail on the head here Bill ... and if you need proof of that ...

THE LUST FOR WHAT ONCE WAS

There's a tendency, as written about here and across the MMO industry, for players to latch onto their favorite past games with a sense of erstwhile pride and more than a little bit of "rose-tinted" glory. We forget the reasons we left some old MMO flame, and isntead long fondly for the time in our MMO life when that game was the game. But the fact is, if we left a game and haven't been able to get back into it since those golden years, chances are its time in our gameplay life is over.  That's not a bad thing, but we're only limiting our future enjoyment of new titles by clinging stubbornly to "the old days".

 

is what you said .. now go back over all the comments and how many said something about a game ... that is simply no more.

On another note

In the simple sense, if you remember back to a time when you were between 6 and 10 when there was that one thing you just HAD to have for Christams ... it was going the be the coolest thing ever ... but come the end of January .. I bet you hardly even looked at it ... that is what MMO's have saddly become ... it is not that they are not good or that the developers have worked hard to make somethign special .. it is that they advertise it to be the best thing since sliced bread ... and we buy into it.. even if it is .. Just sliced bread. We as players are just as much to balme for the failure of a game in our minds as buying into the hype of the advertisers. The game may not be a failure but we see it as one as it failed to live up to what we wanted and expected.

  ThomasN7

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6656

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

9/30/13 2:25:16 PM#45
Originally posted by Boneserino
Originally posted by ThomasN7

I can add something to Mr Bill's list...

Trying to re-invent the mmo genre when it wasn't broken in the first place. MMO's like EverQuest, WOW, UO, DAOC and FFXI were keeping mmo players happy. Not every mmo was the same and they all provided something different for everyone. When devs and publishers wanted to cater to the casuals and go mainstream that is when the industry started to fail hard. MMOs are not soley just for casuals, they never were.

 

I kind of disagree with this.

I think lots of things could be done to improve old MMO's.  They may have been more difficult but not always in a good way.  I think it is obvious that graphical improvements make new games more appealing to look at and help immersion a bit.  But the gameplay is still essentially the same, they have just taken a lot of the "work" out of it. 

Its the work aspect that a lot of people rembember as good gameplay.  The work of getting your corpse.   The work of camping a boss. The work of grinding weeks for a level.   To me that was not or is good gameplay.  Sure, you might have gotten a mild sense of accomplishment because it took you so damn long to do anything.    I like dying in a game, don't get me wrong.   But dying and then being severely punished for it, is not what I want.  What I want is having to rethink my strategy as to why I failed and then respond in a new way.  Not just increase my level or my gear and come back and do it again.

Lots of room for improvement with old games I think.

Lots of room for improvement but devs push it too far which makes it seems they are trying to re-invent the genre.

  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 557

9/30/13 2:26:02 PM#46
Originally posted by bcbully

Stop making the same game with different skins.

 

Stop with the beta NDAs. At this point beta NDAs feel like a cheap trick. What do you have to hide so late in the process? 

 

 

1 word  pre-orders

well a  hyphenated one

  Boneserino

Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 801

9/30/13 2:28:33 PM#47
Originally posted by BMBender
Originally posted by Boneserino
Originally posted by BMBender
Originally posted by Boneserino
 

Make the NPCs have more human behaviour and I think we will be on the right track to more enjoyment in our fantasy worlds.

It's not been a technical or programing problem for a long time. it's been a balancing one.  It's been tried b4 problem scaling difficulty of ai to match the abilities of any particular player is a guessing game at best.  The wider a games demographic range the more slop gets built into the system.

Well here is a question.

If an NPC is confronted by a more powerful force, would it not make sense for that character to try to run or protect itself?  And also, If a stronger NPC see's you coming would it not make sense for that NPC to try and stalk you and hunt you down for a kill?  You might be walking down a path, unaware of said character, who then waits for an opportunity to surprise and ambush you.

Instead we get stationary mobs that wait for the player who obviously has the upper hand to annihilate them, and then complains how easy it was.

Why can't the former be done instead of the latter?  Is it a programming issue? A gameplay issue?  If it can be done, then why isn't it?

If you are designing your game for only one type of predictable play style then yes you can do it. but currently someone who prefers easier content want ai to act a certain way.  Hard cores want it different. Rprs something else. groupers...you guessed it.  Eventually all your clock cycles are solely devoted to controlling the infinite number of ai responses and the game stops.

Well then what you are saying is that we are limited by the technology.

But that doesn't seem an insurmountable obstacle to me.   You mention the different player types.   Why not be given a choice when you start the game?  Hardcore: casual: group: or RP? This would alter the way the NPC's are programmed to respond to you.   Surely this would add something to the gameplay.  And it might mean that a player who is casual might want to give the hardcore setting a try in order to get a different experience, thus extending interest in the game.

If we are stuck in the scripted and stationary mob type of game because of technology then all the people who are disappointed in todays MMO's might as well pack their bags and go home, we obviously have no future here.

FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  Darknessguy64

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/30/13
Posts: 237

9/30/13 2:29:54 PM#48

Excellent article Bill.

I also find it entertaining that those posting comments disagreeing with you are the exact same type of people you addressed in the article. Haha...

  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 557

9/30/13 2:30:56 PM#49
Originally posted by Boneserino
Originally posted by BMBender
Originally posted by Boneserino
Originally posted by BMBender
Originally posted by Boneserino
 

Make the NPCs have more human behaviour and I think we will be on the right track to more enjoyment in our fantasy worlds.

It's not been a technical or programing problem for a long time. it's been a balancing one.  It's been tried b4 problem scaling difficulty of ai to match the abilities of any particular player is a guessing game at best.  The wider a games demographic range the more slop gets built into the system.

Well here is a question.

If an NPC is confronted by a more powerful force, would it not make sense for that character to try to run or protect itself?  And also, If a stronger NPC see's you coming would it not make sense for that NPC to try and stalk you and hunt you down for a kill?  You might be walking down a path, unaware of said character, who then waits for an opportunity to surprise and ambush you.

Instead we get stationary mobs that wait for the player who obviously has the upper hand to annihilate them, and then complains how easy it was.

Why can't the former be done instead of the latter?  Is it a programming issue? A gameplay issue?  If it can be done, then why isn't it?

If you are designing your game for only one type of predictable play style then yes you can do it. but currently someone who prefers easier content want ai to act a certain way.  Hard cores want it different. Rprs something else. groupers...you guessed it.  Eventually all your clock cycles are solely devoted to controlling the infinite number of ai responses and the game stops.

Well then what you are saying is that we are limited by the technology.

But that doesn't seem an insurmountable obstacle to me.   You mention the different player types.   Why not be given a choice when you start the game?  Hardcore: casual: group: or RP? This would alter the way the NPC's are programmed to respond to you.   Surely this would add something to the gameplay.  And it might mean that a player who is casual might want to give the hardcore setting a try in order to get a different experience, thus extending interest in the game.

If we are stuck in the scripted and stationary mob type of game because of technology then all the people who are disappointed in todays MMO's might as well pack their bags and go home, we obviously have no future here.

no you are limited by the demographics you choose;  you choose "everybody" as a default your ai has to be the lowest common denominator. unavoidable

EDIT

There were and are games that do exactly what you profess you want, however they are always in the "too hard" category

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5823

9/30/13 2:35:53 PM#50
Originally posted by Darknessguy64

Excellent article Bill.

I also find it entertaining that those posting comments disagreeing with you are the exact same type of people you addressed in the article. Haha...

I was thinking the same thing, and I got a laugh out of it as well. The genre is young and has some growing pains to sort out. Eventually I think there will be games made for every style.

Curse you AquaScum!

  moosecatlol

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/25/10
Posts: 1175

9/30/13 2:36:55 PM#51
Or . . . content. Nothing like a mmo being completed in less than a week after launch. Level designers seem to be lacking severely.
  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 557

9/30/13 2:37:08 PM#52
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by Darknessguy64

Excellent article Bill.

I also find it entertaining that those posting comments disagreeing with you are the exact same type of people you addressed in the article. Haha...

I was thinking the same thing, and I got a laugh out of it as well. The genre is young and has some growing pains to sort out. Eventually I think there will be games made for every style.

I still hope

  Yamota

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/05/03
Posts: 6510

"I fight so you don't have to."

9/30/13 2:38:10 PM#53

I partly agree with the column but I dont think the problem is as complex as the article makes it be. Truth is that back then, when UO, EQ 1, AC 1 and even ShadowBane, were at their peaks. MMOs were made by enthusiasts and even though you could make some money, it was anything but mainstream.

Back then MMOs were about creating persistant, virtual worlds with immersion and very little like single player games. Today MMOs are big money and bean counters count how much development effort can be done for maximum profitability and creating an immersive, virtual world is hard and I would argue that it is still the niche market it was back then. Reason is that most gamers are well, gamers. They dont want virtual worlds, they want to be the hero.

So the industry has catered to the masses of gamers and instead of creating virtual worlds where not everyone can be the hero, they have instead created single player games in an MMO setting, where everyone is a hero. However it has the worst of both worlds. Having to stay online and also having gazillion of Gandolf or Luke DryWalker running around, interfering in the immersion of playing a single player game like Mass Effect.

So this is how the MMO industry is and it is not going to largely change. So what we old school virtual worlders can hope for is for a game that harkens back to the past but with new technologies such as up to date gfx and server technologies.

  Boneserino

Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 801

9/30/13 2:40:10 PM#54

BmBender

 Well there you have it, so you are telling all of us that  what we have  now  is the best we can expect.   Until hardware improves enough to support the massive amount of programming it will take to change games from having dull and lifeless NPC's,  to having them behave, at least with some semblance of rational thought.  

I am not a programmer but that's kind of what I thought too.

As Kyleran said:

Pity

FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 557

9/30/13 2:40:44 PM#55
Originally posted by moosecatlol
Or . . . content. Nothing like a mmo being completed in less than a week after launch. Level designers seem to be lacking severely.

it's a question of time and resources

a PVP game - we can give you all you need

raider centric - we can put out a raid every other month

group centric - we can put out an instance cluster every 2-4 months

Quest centric - we can whip em out like no-ones business

all the above - F*** my life

 

  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 557

9/30/13 2:45:14 PM#56
Originally posted by Boneserino

BmBender

 Well there you have it, so you are telling all of us that  what we have  now  is the best we can expect.   Until hardware improves enough to support the massive amount of programming it will take to change games from having dull and lifeless NPC's,  to having them behave, at least with some semblance of rational thought.  

I am not a programmer but that's kind of what I thought too.

As Kyleran said:

Pity

IT is not a question of hardware/software it is a question of completely opposing desired results

the exact same encounter a one demographic will want a certain result returned, while another will want something completely different.  player characters do not come with handy little flags to tell the AI witch demographic they belong too.

 

as I stated earlier there are games that do exactly what you say you want but since every current developer is chasing the "all demographics" market the ai has to be toned down to match.

  PAL-18

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/14/13
Posts: 740

9/30/13 2:45:49 PM#57

THE LUST FOR WHAT ONCE WAS

There's a tendency, as written about here and across the MMO industry, for players to latch onto their favorite past games with a sense of erstwhile pride and more than a little bit of "rose-tinted" glory. We forget the reasons we left some old MMO flame, and isntead long fondly for the time in our MMO life when that game was the game. But the fact is, if we left a game and haven't been able to get back into it since those golden years, chances are its time in our gameplay life is over.  That's not a bad thing, but we're only limiting our future enjoyment of new titles by clinging stubbornly to "the old days".

 

 

In my Baldurs Gate,theres no dumbing down patch tomorrow.

Theres no "rose-tinted" glory.

Good MMO today might be terrible shit tomorrow.

Problem is that theres no "rose-tinted" patcher  which allows players to play the version of the game they want.

Its easy to do but its cheaper to say rose-tinted mumbo jumbo.

 

 

So, did ESO have a successful launch? Yes, yes it did.
By Ryan Getchell on April 02, 2014.
**On the radar:http://cyberpunk.net/**

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5823

9/30/13 2:48:15 PM#58
Originally posted by BMBender
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by Darknessguy64

Excellent article Bill.

I also find it entertaining that those posting comments disagreeing with you are the exact same type of people you addressed in the article. Haha...

I was thinking the same thing, and I got a laugh out of it as well. The genre is young and has some growing pains to sort out. Eventually I think there will be games made for every style.

I still hope

Well, they are mostly all being made now, to a greater or lesser extent, but the problem goes back to one of Bill's main points, the game will not likely ever have the feature list or be styled how everyone wants.

It goes back to that weird thing many of us have where if a game has a couple features (or doesn't) then the entire game is written off. All the old games are there, but some people won't go back and play them because some evolution of the game wasn't to their liking. MMOs evolve, some people don't, and those people will be perpetually dissatisfied. Even if a game came out now that they love, it will evolve and then they will become disenfranchised again, through their own fault.

DAoC is still there doing what it does. Same with EQ. Same with UO. Same with Lineage (kind of, not in NA anymore). They all evolve because MMOs really aren't static, including EQ and its clones. This still offer all or most of what they used to. The things that change are because there were players and devs weren't satisfied with the status.

Curse you AquaScum!

  BMBender

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/07
Posts: 557

9/30/13 2:53:05 PM#59
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by BMBender
Originally posted by Torvaldr
Originally posted by Darknessguy64

Excellent article Bill.

I also find it entertaining that those posting comments disagreeing with you are the exact same type of people you addressed in the article. Haha...

I was thinking the same thing, and I got a laugh out of it as well. The genre is young and has some growing pains to sort out. Eventually I think there will be games made for every style.

I still hope

Well, they are mostly all being made now, to a greater or lesser extent, but the problem goes back to one of Bill's main points, the game will not likely ever have the feature list or be styled how everyone wants.

It goes back to that weird thing many of us have where if a game has a couple features (or doesn't) then the entire game is written off. All the old games are there, but some people won't go back and play them because some evolution of the game wasn't to their liking. MMOs evolve, some people don't, and those people will be perpetually dissatisfied. Even if a game came out now that they love, it will evolve and then they will become disenfranchised again, through their own fault.

DAoC is still there doing what it does. Same with EQ. Same with UO. Same with Lineage (kind of, not in NA anymore). They all evolve because MMOs really aren't static, including EQ and its clones. This still offer all or most of what they used to. The things that change are because there were players and devs weren't satisfied with the status.

that can actually be avoided. the reason mmo's get blasted for not have feature A or feature B is because they still actively market towards the demographics in witch that particular feature is important, partly because in many organizations marketing and development aren't on speaking terms.  you have a choice you can go for "everybody" and deliver exactly what's already on the market or you can actively select a target audience and market accordingly.  Worked well for EVE

  Boneserino

Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 801

9/30/13 2:54:52 PM#60
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Boneserino
Originally posted by BMBender
Originally posted by Boneserino
 

Make the NPCs have more human behaviour and I think we will be on the right track to more enjoyment in our fantasy worlds.

It's not been a technical or programing problem for a long time. it's been a balancing one.  It's been tried b4 problem scaling difficulty of ai to match the abilities of any particular player is a guessing game at best.  The wider a games demographic range the more slop gets built into the system.

Well here is a question.

If an NPC is confronted by a more powerful force, would it not make sense for that character to try to run or protect itself?  And also, If a stronger NPC see's you coming would it not make sense for that NPC to try and stalk you and hunt you down for a kill?  You might be walking down a path, unaware of said character, who then waits for an opportunity to surprise and ambush you.

Instead we get stationary mobs that wait for the player who obviously has the upper hand to annihilate them, and then complains how easy it was.

Why can't the former be done instead of the latter?  Is it a programming issue? A gameplay issue?  If it can be done, then why isn't it?

It used to be done, that's how mob AI used to work. It is how it works in Darkfall.

The reason it isn't done is because that would be hard, and AAA MMOs aren't allowed to be hard. They need to be instanced and scaled so no one ever loses or gets frustrated. It needs to be identical to WoW to even get funding.

I think what you are talking about is just simple aggro.  The NPC spots you and runs after you.  You run away and eventually his aggro diminishes and he runs back to former spot.  

What if you attack a group of NPC's and they run or call for reinforcemnent?  Perhaps they might offer you terms for surrender or something like that.  Lots of things that haven't been done but it seems every game I play is simply, there is a mob, go kill it, collect loot, repeat. 

I don't consider myself hardcore but that doesn't mean I don't like difficulty or surprises in my game.  PvP is not what I want either however.   What I want is challenging PvE gameplay that does not always follow the set pattern.

Is it possible?

FFA Nonconsentual Full Loot PvP ...You know you want it!!

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