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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why I like downtime (and other time consuming things) in an MMO

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151 posts found
  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

11/22/13 11:13:02 AM#101

Slower gaming with more downtimes did increase chat as people were bored and needed to fill the time.

The problem is that if any company made that game as a big budget MMO, it would fail miserably. As much as some people liked the fondness of waiting for a boat for 15 minutes just to take a 15 minute ride to get to another town (with the possibility of not loading one of the ocean areas fast enough through dial up and falling off the boat) most people want a fast paced experience. Companies have to design around what players want, or their competition gets all the money.

Movies and TV have moved away from slow openings. There used to be a lot that had slow character builds that led to something later. Audiences don't have the patience for that anymore so movies/TV need to open very quickly with an intense scene to get people hooked.

MMOs have evolved to where combat is smooth and constant, there is generally always something to do, travel is quick, and regen is fast, even to where anyone who helps on a mob gets auto credit so there is no need for camping/fighting over mobs. All of this does hurt the "I might as well chat because I have nothing else to do" which makes people converse less with strangers, but at the same time it provides a much more entertaining experience for most.

You won't see games go back to have lots of downtime anytime soon (unless it is there to make you spend money in a store to get rid of it).

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10636

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

11/22/13 11:27:11 AM#102


Originally posted by Kyleran

Originally posted by Loktofeit

Originally posted by Tibernicuspa But don't take this from me, take it from the guy who built some of the best fucking MMOs ever made. SOCIALIZING REQUIRES DOWN TIME
  You just linked to an article that says the ideal area for 'downtime' in safe areas and away from combat, citing that downtime during combat or 'forced' downtime "...led to resentment of the enforced downtime and appears to have harmed its value as a social space."   If you agree with Raph, then you are agreeing with what others are saying here. Did you not read the article or did you not understand the article?
To be fair, you should have provided the entire quote, which was about spawn camp points, and nothing to do really with what people think of when they are talking about enforced downtime, especially in the terms of this thread.

"Spawn points in EverQuest are of course a much maligned source of downtime. But many people attested to the idea that that was where they chatted and talked. But the fact that the downtime was a barrier to further gameplay in their eyes (meaning, they were camping so they could get some piece of armor or a weapon that they saw as necessary to continued enjoyment of the game) led to resentment of the enforced downtime and appears to have harmed its value as a social space."




This quote doesn't disqualify any argument against enforced down time. Players resent enforced down time when it appears to be a barrier to further game play. Whether something is a barrier to further game play is obviously subjective. Players who see chatting as part of game play will not see down time between encounters as enforced down time. Players who are more interested in the encounters rather than chatting will see that down time as a barrier to game play.

Given that developers as a whole have more access to information than anyone here*, and the enforced down time has been whittled down to nearly nothing, I would say that there are many more people who are interested more in the encounters than some sort of socialization between encounters. It could be those people hate other players, don't want to socialize at all, or just that they'd rather socialize in a "social" space like towns.

* Sometimes developers post here. Raph Koster has posted here. :-) Developers and people in the industry probably know a lot more than we do, even if they are posting here.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7249

11/22/13 12:27:46 PM#103

I saw this yesterday, and thought to myself, "I agree." Today after I had did team practice in Wushu, and browsed the market, I found downtime. 

 

I decided to climb to a spot I know. A house sitting way up on the side of a mountain over looking the city. When I got up there, to my surprise I saw someone playing music. I sat down and began to practice my calligraphy. There we practicing the arts on top of a roof of a mountainside house, over looking the city.  I had no where to go, so as he played, I wrote. 

 

Downtime allowed this to happen. My story my not sound like much, but it made the 13 yr old pen & paper rpg'r in me's day. 

 

 

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.

  Torik

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/09
Posts: 2326

11/22/13 1:14:06 PM#104
Originally posted by bcbully

I saw this yesterday, and thought to myself, "I agree." Today after I had did team practice in Wushu, and browsed the market, I found downtime. 

 

I decided to climb to a spot I know. A house sitting way up on the side of a mountain over looking the city. When I got up there, to my surprise I saw someone playing music. I sat down and began to practice my calligraphy. There we practicing the arts on top of a roof of a mountainside house, over looking the city.  I had no where to go, so as he played, I wrote. 

 

Downtime allowed this to happen. My story my not sound like much, but it made the 13 yr old pen & paper rpg'r in me's day. 

 

 

That's not really the type of downtime talked about here.  You made a choice to take it slow and not partipate in any action intense activities.  The type of downtime discussed here is 'forced downtime' where the player is forced to do nothing in the middle of an activity.  It is more similar to you climbing that mountain and the halfway there, the game would not let you climb more and insisted that you do nothing for the next 15 minutes.

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4820

11/22/13 2:00:17 PM#105
Originally posted by Torik
Originally posted by bcbully

I saw this yesterday, and thought to myself, "I agree." Today after I had did team practice in Wushu, and browsed the market, I found downtime. 

 

I decided to climb to a spot I know. A house sitting way up on the side of a mountain over looking the city. When I got up there, to my surprise I saw someone playing music. I sat down and began to practice my calligraphy. There we practicing the arts on top of a roof of a mountainside house, over looking the city.  I had no where to go, so as he played, I wrote. 

 

Downtime allowed this to happen. My story my not sound like much, but it made the 13 yr old pen & paper rpg'r in me's day. 

 

 

That's not really the type of downtime talked about here.  You made a choice to take it slow and not partipate in any action intense activities.  The type of downtime discussed here is 'forced downtime' where the player is forced to do nothing in the middle of an activity.  It is more similar to you climbing that mountain and the halfway there, the game would not let you climb more and insisted that you do nothing for the next 15 minutes.

^ /nod

That's the type of down time people have been suggesting already exists in mmos. It's the time and place for it. Not when you feel like action/adventure and getting forced to stop and "chat" instead.

There's a saying about evolution and why we have two eyes and two ears but only one mouth. Clearly it didn't see the internet coming or it never would have given us ten fingers to type with.

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

11/22/13 2:47:53 PM#106
Originally posted by Ujirik

That was an interesting read but I don't necessarily agree.  I think your belief that downtime is essential for social interaction and grouping is an outdated one at best.  I've seen much more social interaction from global chat channels than I ever got by sitting around waiting for health to regenerate.  It's also much more convenient and faster to join groups through the automatic party method and global chat channels than trying to find people sitting around in the same area ever was.

Personally, I view it as a flawed mechanic and a prime example of how developers prefer to copy past successes instead of opting for innovative mechanics.

It's always been outdated and it's one that just doesn't work.  When I was presented with forced downtime, I'd get up from my computer and go do something else until I could continue with the game.  I would never just sit there and stare at the screen unless the downtime was so short (under a minute) that I couldn't get anything else done and even then, it wouldn't start any random social interaction, just to have something to do.

Being forced to do nothing in a game doesn't make one social, any more than not having downtime makes one antisocial.  I used to have long, involved chats with guildmates while in the middle of a fight all the time.  You learn to multitask.  Someone who wants to be social is going to be social regardless.  Someone who doesn't want to be social is not going to be social regardless.  These people need to get that through their heads.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
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  gestalt11

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/17/06
Posts: 6169

11/22/13 5:21:52 PM#107

You try to force me into playing the way or pace you think is good , rather than the way I prefer,  I leave.  Its as simple as that.

 

You may fool yourself into believing that this makes players more social but it doesn't, it simply weeds out a lot of people.  Maybe this is what you want but you don't fool yourself into thinking it is anything other than just that.  You are being fooled by a sampling bias and mistaking correlation with causation.

 

You know what I do to people in real life that try to "force" me into things?  Well all in all it depends on the context but by and large I try to make sure it is as unpleasant as possible for them, one way or the other. 

 

So I would suggest that the next time you characterize a feature as "forced" anything; you think twice.  Not everyone is a limp-dick pushover.  But more importantly why are you being such an asshole that you need to control someone else?  Think about it.  Do you really want to be associated with something that "forces" anyone into anything that is not life or death?  If you do you may want to reconsider what exactly you get out of "social" interactions.  Personally I don't want to socialize with anyone who wants to do this sort of thing and I will drop them like a bad habit when I realize they are this way.  So isn't this whole thing a moot point?

  Cephus404

Elite Member

Joined: 2/27/08
Posts: 3697

11/22/13 6:16:56 PM#108
Originally posted by gestalt11

 

So I would suggest that the next time you characterize a feature as "forced" anything; you think twice.  Not everyone is a limp-dick pushover.  But more importantly why are you being such an asshole that you need to control someone else?  Think about it.  Do you really want to be associated with something that "forces" anyone into anything that is not life or death?  If you do you may want to reconsider what exactly you get out of "social" interactions.  Personally I don't want to socialize with anyone who wants to do this sort of thing and I will drop them like a bad habit when I realize they are this way.  So isn't this whole thing a moot point?

Of course they do.  For a lot of people who want to force their style of gameplay, it's all about validating their own choices.  If everyone has to do it, they can feel good about their choices, it's "popular".  If they're the only ones doing it, they feel bad because they're alone and unpopular.  That's really all this is about, waving one's  dick around and forcing everyone else to join them so they feel like they're popular.

Played: UO, EQ, WoW, DDO, SWG, AO, CoH, EvE, TR, AoC, GW, GA, Aion, Allods, lots more
Relatively Recently (Re)Played: HL2 (all), Halo (PC, all), Batman:AA; AC, ME, BS, DA, FO3, DS, Doom (all), LFD1&2, KOTOR, Portal 1&2, Blink, Elder Scrolls (all), lots more
Now Playing: None
Hope: None

  Tibernicuspa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/03/13
Posts: 986

11/22/13 6:44:26 PM#109
Originally posted by gestalt11

You try to force me into playing the way or pace you think is good , rather than the way I prefer,  I leave.  Its as simple as that.

 

Every game you've ever played forces you to play at its pace.

And if you don't like an MMO with a different pace, fine, leave. There are a thousand other games for you.

  Banaghran

Novice Member

Joined: 1/17/12
Posts: 872

11/22/13 6:51:23 PM#110
Originally posted by lizardbones

Given that developers as a whole have more access to information than anyone here*, and the enforced down time has been whittled down to nearly nothing, I would say that there are many more people who are interested more in the encounters than some sort of socialization between encounters. It could be those people hate other players, don't want to socialize at all, or just that they'd rather socialize in a "social" space like towns.

* Sometimes developers post here. Raph Koster has posted here. :-) Developers and people in the industry probably know a lot more than we do, even if they are posting here.

 

If everything is so fine and dandy and everyone knows what he is doing, why does not wow have 16+ mil subs, Rift 5+ and so on?

Btw, what you are talking about was the result of socialisation in some products in the past, if you had ingame friends, you could kill for hours and hours , no downtime with support chars, more encounter oppotunities in guild dungeons and more.

Flame on!

:)

  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 7249

11/22/13 7:06:54 PM#111
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by Torik
Originally posted by bcbully

I saw this yesterday, and thought to myself, "I agree." Today after I had did team practice in Wushu, and browsed the market, I found downtime. 

 

I decided to climb to a spot I know. A house sitting way up on the side of a mountain over looking the city. When I got up there, to my surprise I saw someone playing music. I sat down and began to practice my calligraphy. There we practicing the arts on top of a roof of a mountainside house, over looking the city.  I had no where to go, so as he played, I wrote. 

 

Downtime allowed this to happen. My story my not sound like much, but it made the 13 yr old pen & paper rpg'r in me's day. 

 

 

That's not really the type of downtime talked about here.  You made a choice to take it slow and not partipate in any action intense activities.  The type of downtime discussed here is 'forced downtime' where the player is forced to do nothing in the middle of an activity.  It is more similar to you climbing that mountain and the halfway there, the game would not let you climb more and insisted that you do nothing for the next 15 minutes.

^ /nod

That's the type of down time people have been suggesting already exists in mmos. It's the time and place for it. Not when you feel like action/adventure and getting forced to stop and "chat" instead.

Im not so sure we are not talking about the same thing. I decided to do what I did, because I could not do any more cultivation for the day. This is forced progression downtime. My thing was off limits, because of this forced down time,  decided to relax a bit. 

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.

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

11/22/13 7:10:13 PM#112
bcbully with the score:)

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

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12299

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

11/22/13 7:27:22 PM#113
Originally posted by FinalFikus
bcbully with the score:)

There definitely seems to be a big divide between the people that need the game to force them to do something other than level/grind and the people that just do it naturally. 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  Tibernicuspa

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/03/13
Posts: 986

11/22/13 7:27:29 PM#114
Originally posted by bcbully
Originally posted by DamonVile
Originally posted by Torik
Originally posted by bcbully

I saw this yesterday, and thought to myself, "I agree." Today after I had did team practice in Wushu, and browsed the market, I found downtime. 

 

I decided to climb to a spot I know. A house sitting way up on the side of a mountain over looking the city. When I got up there, to my surprise I saw someone playing music. I sat down and began to practice my calligraphy. There we practicing the arts on top of a roof of a mountainside house, over looking the city.  I had no where to go, so as he played, I wrote. 

 

Downtime allowed this to happen. My story my not sound like much, but it made the 13 yr old pen & paper rpg'r in me's day. 

 

 

That's not really the type of downtime talked about here.  You made a choice to take it slow and not partipate in any action intense activities.  The type of downtime discussed here is 'forced downtime' where the player is forced to do nothing in the middle of an activity.  It is more similar to you climbing that mountain and the halfway there, the game would not let you climb more and insisted that you do nothing for the next 15 minutes.

^ /nod

That's the type of down time people have been suggesting already exists in mmos. It's the time and place for it. Not when you feel like action/adventure and getting forced to stop and "chat" instead.

Im not so sure we are not talking about the same thing. I decided to do what I did, because I could not do any more cultivation for the day. This is forced progression downtime. My thing was off limits, because of this forced down time,  decided to relax a bit. 

There is a HUGE difference between forced downtime, and a game REWARDING down time, I hope you guys realize.

  Raph

MMO Designer

Joined: 9/11/06
Posts: 117

11/23/13 1:26:35 AM#115

I do think anyone who looks at the "Socialization requires downtime" piece really needs to look at this later follow-up, and the discussion thread under it (start at the bottom and read up, it's sorted in reverse order):

"Forcing Interaction" - http://www.raphkoster.com/2005/12/09/forcing-interaction/

 

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12299

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

11/23/13 1:58:59 AM#116
Originally posted by Raph

I do think anyone who looks at the "Socialization requires downtime" piece really needs to look at this later follow-up, and the discussion thread under it (start at the bottom and read up, it's sorted in reverse order):

"Forcing Interaction" - http://www.raphkoster.com/2005/12/09/forcing-interaction/

 

"forced grouping does not force socialization, it forces teamwork"

Excellent point The value of required grouping is in the necessity it creates for more effectively working together. 

 

"It does suggest that automating travel, even if it’s still a timesink, has distinct advantages. For instance, I’d probably spend a lot more time chatting on World of Warcraft if I weren’t constantly interrupting my line of typing in order to guide my character’s movement while running long distances." - Amberyl

Yes! I feel the same way as Amberyl does. When traveling in an MMO, I often choose the automated version because it is allowing me to chat or do other things. The "challenge" of navigating around junk mobs to avoid getting dazed, knocked off my horse or other ridiculous penalties is far outweighed by my interest in relaying "hey, will be there soon. crossing through [loc] now" or "we've got a few doing the next quest. Meet us there. We're starting in 5" or any number of other - possibly not even game related- discussions I could have with guildies, group mates or friends. 

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4820

11/23/13 2:30:17 AM#117
Originally posted by Raph

I do think anyone who looks at the "Socialization requires downtime" piece really needs to look at this later follow-up, and the discussion thread under it (start at the bottom and read up, it's sorted in reverse order):

"Forcing Interaction" - http://www.raphkoster.com/2005/12/09/forcing-interaction/

 

I think what it strongly points out is that we mostly disagree because we're different types of people and players. Trying to force everyone into one mold would be a disaster for the game. Recognizing the different ways people like to socialize and providing an outlet for each ( or as many as possible) is a much better way to build an online community.

Anything that increases the chances of people chatting without forcing anyone to do it in times they don't really want to, should have a positive long term effect?

 

And thx for the link. It was an interesting read that I probably need to read when it's not midnight and I'm half asleep :)

There's a saying about evolution and why we have two eyes and two ears but only one mouth. Clearly it didn't see the internet coming or it never would have given us ten fingers to type with.

  Boneserino

Elite Member

Joined: 12/08/07
Posts: 796

11/23/13 2:38:11 AM#118

IMO, global chat is the be all and end all to socialization in MMO's.   I love to monitor chat in MMO's, just to listen to the stupid and sometimes, interesting and funny things we all have to say.    And from that chat I can pretty much pick out who the good guys are and, who the chaff are that can be weeded out.   

 

From there it might be a PM that gets a conversation going or it might be a guild invite.   The rest is up to you after that.

 

But being forced to group with a bunch of peeps I know nothing about, well that could be good or bad.  More often bad I think.  Much rather make my own decisions on who to play with than go through that other process.

 

Now for those that equate socialization with finding buddies that perform well in group combat situations, that is a whole different ball of wax.   I think that is what these forced group/downtime guys are looking for.  Guys they can brag to their buds about their combat prowess to, or learn new techniques from, so they can brag some more about their skillz..    You know, the " You are my soul brother man, and I would gladly die in battle for you ! " types.   The macho gamer type.   I get that.  Its cool.

 

Me I just like goofing around and having fun, so please don't force me into your group.  You will be disappointed.

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

  FinalFikus

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/01/13
Posts: 910

"We're up all night to get lucky"

11/23/13 2:50:32 AM#119

Once you force/reward one system, you can't wonder why people don't socialize or participate in other activities naturally.

If combat progression is forced or rewarded, socialization must be too if that's even important anymore.

 

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

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12299

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Project Gorgon, and Combat Arms

11/23/13 3:14:38 AM#120
Originally posted by FinalFikus

Once you force/reward one system, you can't wonder why people don't socialize or participate in other activities naturally.

If combat progression is forced or rewarded, socialization must be too if that's even important anymore.

 

Or make grinding through content either less linear or less of an objective. There was game-generated reward or return for hanging out at a Mage Tower or Kazola's Tavern in UO, but surprisingly, people would do it, even when there was plenty of hunting and leveling they could be doing. 

Today's MMOs don't even have places for people to socialize anymore. I don't consider the current One Town to Rule Them All design to be an effective social arenas as it is the equivalent of global chat - a universal bucket to throw everyone into, and that's simply not how people best interact, especially when everyone is from such diverse backgrounds and such a wide range of ages. 

The more recent housing implementations seem to be one way of compensating for that, allowing players to quickly travel to each other and group up in their team/clan/clique-specific locales. They seem to allow for socialization and interaction outside the guild unit, as the guild unit is often one's function-based circle but not necessarily one of their social circles. 

 

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

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