Trending Games | ArcheAge | World of Warcraft | Elder Scrolls Online | Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn

  Network:  FPSguru RTSguru
Login:  Password:   Remember?  
Show Quick Gamelist Jump to Random Game
Members:2,923,580 Users Online:0
Games:760  Posts:6,316,980
Recent forum postsRSS
Active threads
Cloud view
List all forums
General Forums
Developers Corner General Discussion
Popular Game Forums
Click a status to find game forum
Game Forums
Click a letter to find game forum
A-C
2029 Online 2112: Revolution 2Moons 4Story 8BitMMO 9 Dragons A Mystical Land A Tale in the Desert III A3 ACE Online ARGO Online Aberoth Absolute Force Online Absolute Terror Achaea Adellion Aerrevan Aetolia, the Midnight Age Age of Armor Age of Conan Age of Empires Online Age of Mourning Age of Wulin Age of Wushu Aida Arenas Aika Aion Albion Online Alganon All Points Bulletin (APB) Allods Online Altis Gates Amazing World Anarchy Online Ancients of Fasaria Andromeda 5 Angels Online Angry Birds Epic Anime Ninja Anime Pirates Anime Trumps Anmynor Anno Online Applo Arcane Hearts Arcane Legends ArchLord ArcheAge Archeblade Archlord X Ascend: Hand of Kul Asda 2 Asda Story Ashen Empires Asheron's Call Asheron's Call 2 Astera Online Astonia III Astro Empires Astro Lords: Oort CLoud Asura Force Atlantica Online Atriarch Aura Kingdom Aurora Blade Auto Assault Avatar Star Battle Dawn Battle Dawn Galaxies Battle for Graxia Battle of 3 Kingdoms Battle of the Immortals Battlecruiser Online Battlestar Galactica Online Battlestar Reloaded Beyond Protocol Black Aftermath Black Desert Black Gold Black Prophecy Black Prophecy Tactics: Nexus Conflict Blacklight Retribution Blade & Soul Blade Hunter Blade Wars Blazing Throne Bless Blitz 1941 Blood and Jade Bloodlines Champions Boot Hill Heroes Borderlands 2 Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel Bound by Flame Bounty Bay Online Brain Storm Bravada Bravely Default Bravely Second Brawl Busters. Brick-Force Bright Shadow Bullet Run Business Tycoon Online CTRacer Cabal Online Caesary Call of Camelot Call of Gods Call of Thrones Camelot Unchained Canaan Online Cardmon Hero Cartoon Universe CasinoRPG Cast & Conquer Castle Empire Castlot Celtic Heroes Champions Online Champions of Regnum Chaos Online Child of Light Chrono Tales Citadel of Sorcery CitiesXL Citizen Zero City of Decay City of Heroes City of Steam City of Transformers City of Villains Civilization Online Clan Lord Clash of Clans Cloud Nine Club Penguin Colony of War Command & Conquer: Tiberium Alliances Company of Heroes Online Conquer Online Conquer Online 3 Continent of the Ninth (C9) Core Blaze Core Exiles Corum Online Craft of Gods Crimecraft Crimelife 2 Cronous Crota II Crusaders of Solaris Cultures Online Cyber Monster 2 Cyberpunk 2077 Céiron Wars
D-F
D&D Online DC Universe DK Online DOTA DOTA 2 DUST 514 DV8: Exile Dalethaan Dance Groove Online Dark Age of Camelot Dark Ages Dark Legends Dark Orbit Dark Relic: Prelude Dark Solstice Dark Souls 2 Dark and Light DarkEden Online DarkSpace Darkblood Online Darkest Dungeon Darkfall Darkfall: Unholy Wars Darkwind: War on Wheels Das Tal Dawn of Fantasy Dawntide DayZ Dead Earth Dead Frontier Dead Island Dead Island 2 Dead Island: Riptide Deco Online Deep Down Deepworld Defiance Deicide Online Dekaron Demons at the Horizon Desert Operations Destiny Diablo 3 Diamonin Digimon Battle Dino Storm Disciple Divergence Divina Divine Souls Divinity: Original Sin Dofus Dominus Online Dragon Age: Inquisition Dragon Ball Online Dragon Born Online Dragon Crusade Dragon Empires Dragon Eternity Dragon Fin Soup Dragon Nest Dragon Oath Dragon Pals Dragon Raja Dragon's Call Dragon's Call II Dragon's Prophet DragonSky DragonSoul Dragona Dragonica Dragons and Titans Drakengard 3 Dream of Mirror Online Dreamland Online Dreamlords: The Reawakening Drift City Duels Dungeon Blitz Dungeon Fighter Online Dungeon Overlord Dungeon Party Dungeon Rampage Dungeon Runners Dungeon of the Endless Dynastica Dynasty Warriors Online Dynasty of the Magi EIN (Epicus Incognitus) EVE Online Earth Eternal Earth and Beyond Earthrise Eclipse War Ecol Tactics Online Eden Eternal Edge of Space Einherjar - The Viking's Blood Elder Scrolls Online Eldevin Elf Online Elite: Dangerous Embers of Caerus Emil Chronicle Online Empire Empire & State Empire Craft Empire Universe 3 EmpireQuest Empires of Galldon End of Nations Endless Ages Endless Blue Moon Online Endless Online Entropia Universe EpicDuel Erebus: Travia Reborn Eredan Eternal Blade Eternal Lands Eternal Saga Ether Fields Ether Saga Online Eudemons Online EuroGangster EverEmber Online EverQuest Next EverQuest Online Adventures Evernight Everquest Everquest II Evony Exarch Exorace F.E.A.R. Online Face of Mankind Fairyland Online Fall of Rome Fallen Earth Fallen Sword Fallout 4 Fallout Online Family Guy Online Fantage Fantasy Earth Zero Fantasy Realm Online Fantasy Tales Online Fantasy Worlds: Rhynn Faunasphere Faxion Online Fearless Fantasy Ferentus Ferion Fiesta Online Final Fantasy Type-0 HD Final Fantasy XI Final Fantasy XIV Final Fantasy XIV: A Realm Reborn Firefall Fists of Fu Florensia Flyff Football Manager Live Football Superstars Force of Arms Forge Forsaken Uprising Forsaken World Fortnite Fortuna Forum for Discussion of Everlight Freaky Creatures Free Realms Freesky Online Freeworld Fung Wan Online Furcadia Fury Fusion Fall
G-L
GalaXseeds Galactic Command Online Game of Thrones: Seven Kingdoms Gameglobe Gate To Heavens Gates of Andaron Gatheryn Gauntlet Gekkeiju Online Ghost Online Ghost Recon Online Gladiatus Glitch Global Agenda Global Soccer Gloria Victis Glory of Gods GoGoRacer Goal Line Blitz Gods and Heroes GodsWar Online Golemizer Golf Star GoonZu Online Graal Kingdoms Granado Espada Online Grand Chase Grand Fantasia Grepolis Grimlands Guild Wars Guild Wars 2 Guild Wars Factions Guild Wars Nightfall H1Z1 Habbo Hotel Hailan Rising HaloSphere2 Haven & Hearth Hawken Heart Forth Alicia Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft Helbreath Hellgate Hellgate: London Hello Kitty Online Hero Online Hero Zero Hero's Journey Hero: 108 Online HeroSmash Heroes & Generals Heroes & Legends: Conquerors of Kolhar Heroes in the Sky Heroes of Atlan Heroes of Bestia Heroes of Gaia Heroes of Might and Magic Online Heroes of Thessalonica Heroes of Three Kingdoms Heroes of the Storm Hex Holic Online Hostile Space Hunter Blade Huxley Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition Illutia Illyriad Immortals USA Imperator Imperian Inferno Legend Infestation: Survivor Stories Infinite Crisis Infinity Infinity Iris Online Iron Grip: Marauders Irth Worlds Island Forge Islands of War Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted Jade Dynasty Jagged Alliance Online Juggernaut Jumpgate Jumpgate Evolution KAL Online Kakele Online Kaos War Karos Online Kartuga Kicks Online King of Kings 3 Kingdom Heroes Kingdom Under Fire II Kingdom of Drakkar Kingory Kings Era Kings and Legends Kings of the Realm KingsRoad Kitsu Saga Kiwarriors Knight Age Knight Online Knights of Dream City Kothuria Kung Foo! Kunlun Online Kyn L.A.W. LEGO Universe La Tale Land of Chaos Online Landmark Lands of Hope: Redemption LastChaos League of Angels League of Legends - Clash of Fates Legend of Edda: Vengeance Legend of Golden Plume Legend of Grimrock 2 Legend of Katha Legend of Mir 2 Legend of Mir 3 Legendary Champions Lego Minifigures Online Lichdom: Battlemage Life is Feudal Light of Nova Lime Odyssey Line of Defense Lineage Lineage Eternal: Twilight Resistance Lineage II Linkrealms Loong Online Lord of the Rings Online Lords Online Lords of the Fallen Lost Saga Lucent Heart Lunia Lusternia: Age of Ascension Luvinia World
M-Q
MU Online Mabinogi Maestia: Rise of Keledus MagiKnights Magic Barrage Magic World Online Manga Fighter MapleStory Martial Heroes Marvel Heroes Marvel Super Hero Squad Online Marvel: Avengers Alliance Mass Effect 4 MechWarrior Online Megaten Meridian 59 : Evolution Merlin MetalMercs Metaplace Metin 2 MicroVolts Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Midkemia Online Might & Magic Heroes: Kingdoms Might & Magic X: Legacy MilMo Minecraft Mini Fighter Minions of Mirth Ministry of War Monato Esprit Monkey King Online Monkey Quest Monster & Me Monster Madness Online MonsterMMORPG Moonlight Online: Tales of Eternal Blood Moonrise Mordavia Mortal Online Mourning My Lands Myst Online: URU Live Myth Angels Online Myth War Myth War 2 Mythborne Mytheon Mythic Saga Mythos N.E.O Online NIDA Online Nadirim Naviage: The Power of Capital Navy Field Need for Speed World Nemexia Neo's Land NeoSteam Neocron Nether Neverwinter Nexus: The Kingdom Of The Winds NinjaTrick NosTale Novus Aeterno Oberin Odin Quest Odyssey RPG Ogre Island Omerta 3 Online Boxing Manager Onverse Oort Online Order & Chaos Online Order of Magic Original Blood Origins Return Origins of Malu Orion's Belt Otherland Forums OverSoul Overkings Overwatch Oz Online Oz World Pandora Saga Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Panzar Parabellum Parallel Kingdom Parfait Station Path of Exile Pathfinder Online Perfect World Perpetuum Online Persona V Phantasy Star Online 2 Phantasy Star Universe Phoenix Dynasty Online Phylon Pi Story Picaroon Pillars of Eternity Pirate Galaxy Pirate Storm Pirate101 PirateKing Online Pirates of the Burning Sea Pirates of the Caribbean Online Pixie Hollow Planeshift Planet Arkadia Planet Calypso PlanetSide 2 Planetside Planets³ Playboy Manager Pocket Legends Pockie Ninja Pockie Pirates Pockie Saints Pokémon X and Y PoxNora Prime World Prime: Battle for Dominus Priston Tale Priston Tale II Prius Online Prodigy Project Blackout Project Gorgon Project Powder Project Titan Forums Project Wiki Project Zomboid Puzzle Pirates Quest for Infamy Quickhit Football
R-S
R2 Online RAN Online RF Online ROSE Online Rage of 3 Kingdoms Ragnarok Online Ragnarok Online II RaiderZ Rail Nation Rakion Rappelz RappelzSEA Ravenmarch Realm Fighter Realm of Sierra Realm of the Mad God Realm of the Titans Realms Online Rebel Galaxy Reclamation Red Stone Red War: Edem's Curse Regnum Online Remnant Knights Renaissance Repulse Requiem: Memento Mori Rift RiotZone Rise Rise of Dragonian Era Rise of Empire Rise of the Tycoon Risen 3: Titan Lords Rising of King Risk Your Life Rivality Rockfree Rohan: Blood Feud Role Play Worlds Roll n Rock Roma Victor Romadoria Rosh Online Roto X Rubies of Eventide Ruin Online Rumble Fighter Runes of Magic Runescape Rust Rusty Hearts Ryzom S4 League SAGA SD Gundam Capsule Fighter Online SMITE SUN Sacred 3 Sagramore Salem SaySayGirls Scarlet Blade Scions of Fate Seal Online: Evolution Second Chance Heroes Second Life Secret of the Solstice Seed Serenia Fantasy Seven Seas Saga Seven Souls Online Sevencore Shadow Realms Shadow of Legend Shadowbane Shadowgate Shadowrun Online Shaiya Shards Online Shattered Galaxy Sho Online Shot Online Shroud of the Avatar SideQuest Siege on Stars Sigonyth: Desert Eternity Silkroad Online Skyblade Skyforge SmashMuck Champions Smoo Online Soldier Front Soul Master Soul Order Online Soul of Guardian South Park: The Stick of Truth Space Heroes Universe Sparta: War of Empires Spellcasters Sphere Spiral Knights Spirit Tales Splash Fighters Squad Wars Star Citizen Star Conflict Star Sonata 2 Star Stable Star Supremacy Star Trek Online Star Trek: Infinite Space Star Wars Galaxies Star Wars: Clone Wars Adventures Star Wars: The Old Republic StarQuest Online Starbound Stargate Worlds Starlight Story Starpires State of Decay SteelWar Online Stone Age 2 Stormfall: Age of War Stormthrone Storybricks Stronghold Kingdoms Styx: Master of Shadows Sudden Attack Supremacy 1914 Supreme Destiny Sword Girls Sword of Destiny: Rise of Aions SwordX Swords of Heavens Swordsman
T-Z
TERA TS Online TUG Tabula Rasa Tactica Online Tales Runner Tales of Fantasy Tales of Pirates Tales of Pirates II Tales of Solaris Talisman Online Tamer Saga Tank Ace Tantra Online Tatsumaki: Land at War Terra Militaris TerraWorld Online Terraria Thang Online The 4th Coming The Agency The Aurora World The Banner Saga The Black Watchmen The Chronicle The Chronicles of Spellborn The Crew The Division The Epic Might The Hammers End The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing 2 The Legend of Ares The Lost Titans The Matrix Online The Mighty Quest for Epic Loot The Missing Ink The Mummy Online The Myth of Soma The Pride of Taern The Realm Online The Repopulation The Secret World The Sims Online The Strategems The West The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Theralon There Therian Saga Thrones of Chaos Tibia Tibia Micro Edition Tiger Knight Titan Siege Titans of Time Toontown Online Top Speed Topia Online Torchlight Torment: Tides of Numenera Total Domination Transformers Universe Transistor Transverse Traveller AR Travia Online Travian Triad Wars Trials of Ascension Tribal Hero Tribal Wars Tribes Universe Trickster Online Trove Troy Online True Fantasy Live Online Turf Battles Twelve Sky Twelve Sky 2 Twilight War Tynon U.B. Funkeys UFO Online URDEAD Online Ultima Forever: Quest for the Avatar Ultima Online Ultima X: Odyssey Ultimate Naruto Ultimate Soccer Boss Uncharted Waters Online Undercover 2: Merc Wars Underlight Unification Wars Universe Online Utopia Valkyrie Sky Vampire Lord Online Vanguard: Saga of Heroes Vanquish Space Vector City Racers Vendetta Online Victory - Age of Racing Vindictus Virtonomics Vis Gladius Visions of Zosimos VoidExpanse Voyage Century Online W.E.L.L. Online WAR (Warhammer Online) WAR2 Glory WYD Global Wakfu War Thunder War of 2012 War of Angels War of Legends War of Mercenaries War of Thrones War of the Immortals WarFlow Waren Story Warflare Wargame1942 Warhammer 40,000: Eternal Crusade Warhammer 40K: Dark Millennium Online Warhammer Online: Wrath of Heroes Warkeepers Warrior Epic Wartune Wasteland 2 WebLords Wild West Online WildStar Wind of Luck WindSlayer 2 Wings of Destiny Wish Wizard101 Wizardry Online Wizards and Champions Wonder King Wonderland Online World Golf Tour World of Battles World of Darkness World of Heroes World of Kung Fu World of Pirates World of Speed World of Tanks World of Tanks Generals World of Warcraft World of Warplanes World of Warriors World of Warships World of the Living Dead WorldAlpha Wurm Online Xenoblade Chronicles: X Xenocell Xiah Xsyon Xulu YS Online Yitien ZU Online Zentia Zero Online Zero Online: The Andromeda Crisis Zodiac Online Zombies Ate My Pizza eRepublik

MMORPG.com Discussion Forums

General Discussion

General Discussion 

News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Player Behavior & Fluid Dynamics

16 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 14229

 
OP  12/09/13 7:47:59 PM#1

Action for reward is a stock-in-trade with all MMOs. Players want to be rewarded for their time spent but it's a conundrum for developers. See how the issue is viewed and addressed in Matt Miller's latest column. 

Unfortunately, just like fluid dynamics (and electricity for the most part), the playerbase will seek out and exploit the path of least resistance. What actions will take the least amount of effort and the least amount of time to achieve the same goal, and receive the same reward? Given enough time (or enough people) such paths are found in most MMOs, much to the designers chagrin.

Read more of Matt Miller's Player Behavior & Fluid Dynamics.

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  WereLlama

Novice Member

Joined: 2/13/12
Posts: 221

12/10/13 12:53:53 PM#2

I believe most players are more motivated to seek these easier paths if their actions play the only role in success.  If you feel your decisions are hurting your progression, you will seek outside help (the web) to find the ideal path.  

So, if we want players to be less min/maxing, perhaps add a progression/over time cap.  Yes, on the immediate glance its like a parent saying No. Its unwelcome.  But, it allows players less stress to find alternate/less efficient paths to content, and actually stop to smell the roses.

Ex. In Swtor, they have comm caps a week and raid boss lockouts. You can do whatever you want, as efficiently or inefficiently, and still be on par with the other players. Sure Swtor has other exploits (like using legacy items to pool raid gear to your favorite character bypassing all these caps) but the caps allow freedom to smell the roses.  If you are into roses of course.

-WL

 

 

  FrinkiacVII

Novice Member

Joined: 1/23/13
Posts: 45

12/10/13 1:15:23 PM#3
I think the best thing to do is tweak, revamp, and revise the content often enough that the "old reliable" tactics either don't work anymore or aren't optimal.  CoH did this with the Hamidon raid and maybe a few other things over the course of it's existence.  In other words, replace the wing in the flow diagram with a different one from time to time, or even just tilt the wing at a different angle of attack (to be honest, the circuit diagram approach using resistors would probably be more appropriate, as you end up just adding in and taking out resistors, but whatever analogy floats your airplane I guess).  I don't know how easy or hard this is to do for a game developer though.  I'm told a lot of zoos that have otters will give the otter a plastic puzzle with food inside, the idea being that the otter will figure out how to open the puzzle and get the food.  They eventually have to change the puzzle because the otters remember how to do it after a while.  I think it's the nature of living systems to adapt and optimize, so the only appropriate response to to adapt back, I guess.  This, of course, is basically the worst possible solution for the developers, because it means that once you've rolled out new content, you're still not done with it, because now you have to spend person-hours to maintain it and refresh it from time to time, like mowing the lawn or maintaining the patio etc.  As if it weren't enough work just writing new content, now you have to constantly repair, replaster, and repaint all the old content too.

"Well sure, the FrinkiacVII looks impressive - DON'T TOUCH IT - but I predict that within 100 years computers will be TWICE as powerful, ten THOUSAND times larger, and so expensive that only the five richest kings of Europe will own them." -Prof. Frink

  zymurgeist

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/24/04
Posts: 5212

12/10/13 3:20:42 PM#4
The ultimate solution is making your content not suck. People rarely bypass what they enjoy. Content that sucks is not challenging, it's boring.

"Strong and bitter words indicate a weak cause" ~Victor Hugo

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1828

12/10/13 3:46:20 PM#5

This is a problem with content that is static and therefore can be infinately repeated until the players find the optimal solution. If you are able to move away from players repeating the same static content, then you avoid the problem because the optimal solution is a moving target.

P.S. Your scenario is mostly of concern for the achiever/progression type player because they are only concerned with the reward. For the rest of us, the reward is the fun of experiencing the game...not some carrot of orc-slaying +2 that comes at the end.

 

  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1188

12/10/13 6:05:25 PM#6

Some good responses here.  If it's fun, people will just do it. 

 

To quote CoH stuff, I did the Imperious Task Force numerous times because it was fun, very well designed.  The end fight with Romulus could be approached a ton of different ways, with use of terrain, creative splitting of the Essences, straight out zerg attacks, etc, all working at one point or another.  A crafty vet on one run told us a trick (probably an exploit) of having no one go onto the plaza before pulling Romulus with a long range attack.   The essences wouldn't spawn, and Romulus went down in one single defeat, instead of the requisate four.  How they figured that out initially I have no idea. 

Compare that to the Quartermain Task Force, an awful, mind-numbingly boring, terribly designed TF.  I did it once.  Never again.  I think only the badge hunters ever really bothered with it.  Another part of the waste of a good zone.

 

And non-static events:  On one final TF battle we were in, you'd normally fight a Super Villain Foe who would call in, one by one, Super Villain allies.  Probably due to a bug, TWO Super Villains got called in at the same time, as well as waves of minions.  It was a mad scramble by the team, with a controller and blaster taking out the minon waves at a choke point, defender and tank holding off the Big Bad, and the other four team members trying to keep the other two Villains from concentrating their attacks until the team could refocus its attention and take out the Super Villains one by one.      Too bad it wasn't designed that way, with at least a chance that that could happen, say.

 

Because  that's the run of that TF that I remember vividly.  Surprise action, resourceful team, and absolutely not a simon sez clockwork dance of optimized raid ballet.

If you are holding out for the perfect game, the only game you play will be the waiting one.

  Nephelai

Novice Member

Joined: 1/29/13
Posts: 168

12/10/13 6:06:13 PM#7
Originally posted by zymurgeist
The ultimate solution is making your content not suck. People rarely bypass what they enjoy. Content that sucks is not challenging, it's boring.

Exactly this - people only bypass time sync designed content. If its fun and interesting people will engage with it. If its there only to slow you down until you get to the fun and interesting stuff in a hope of extending your sub or buying something from a store to defeat it then people will do that.

  Daessar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/20/13
Posts: 207

12/10/13 6:20:59 PM#8

I think there are too many arguments presented in the article and not enough definition of design goal. Much of it changes based on what type of game it is, and player behavior can change drastically based on that. 

Make the content interesting and challenging, and then be prepared to act swiftly if a bug or an exploit is found. If those things are quickly fixed, then I'm for a removal of rewards earned through that means. If the bugs or exploits take a long time to fix, or are put on low priority to fix, then the damage is done. All of this really goes back to design goal and if these things really matter in the game.

 
  Amaranthar

Novice Member

Joined: 1/18/06
Posts: 2171

12/10/13 6:30:22 PM#9

I'd rather not have fixed content. I'd rather be the wing seeking lift in the ever changing winds in order to move to the destination I set for myself.

 

Once upon a time....

  jbombard

Advanced Member

Joined: 11/06/08
Posts: 491

12/10/13 8:22:23 PM#10
I think the real challenge is figuring out how to reward your players for spending time in your game while not simply making the reward fun but also making the time they spend in between fun as well.  Throwing up arbitrary walls for the players to but their heads on and then becoming upset when they find a way to avoid what you have created is kind of missing the point.  If people aren't enjoying the experience they are going to try to avoid it.  If you try and force a certain outcome or behavior, people are going to fight against it.  People don't like feeling forced.  The key is to not force anything but to find ways to apply positive reinformcent to the behaviors and outcomes that are most desirable without beating them a stick everytime they try and color outside the lines.
  terratricks

Novice Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2

12/11/13 1:01:36 AM#11

The rock and river analogy is interesting. The only difference is that I see the rock as developers who refuse to give up the notion that player behavior is guided by simple behavioral principles like...they will find the fastest way to the reward they desire, and the water as players. They move around the rock or wash it away.

The expectations by some developers are misguided. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if this problem exists in like..every game, then maybe we are looking at human behavior that lies outside of easy labeling like exploits, cheating, laziness, etc.

Games will never be able to stop the "path of least resistance", but developers can learn to incorporate gaming conditions that guide players towards behaviors the developers would like to see occur. However, 100,000 players will find ways around any challenge that  a development team had any hand in creating.

Finding the path of least resistance will happen, whether developers like it or not. It is the developers' reactions that set the tone for the player community. Punish or learn. Punish the players via stigma, direct statements or "nerfing" rewards becuse they didn't follow A-B-C, or learn from how players accomplished it, and continue to learn how the player base works so the game can continue develop cooperatively-between developers and the player base. No challenge will ever be player-proof. This is not the fault of the player, but should be a positive learning experience for the development team.

One last comment. Again, this will sound harsh. I have have never understood the mentality that some developers I have met have when they think they know and understand human behavior. I am a researcher in behavioral psychology and we have about 110 years of systematic research and we still are learning. Why a development team would get frustrated because they failed to predict human behavior is well--weird.

  User Deleted
12/11/13 1:53:03 AM#12
Originally posted by zymurgeist
The ultimate solution is making your content not suck. People rarely bypass what they enjoy. Content that sucks is not challenging, it's boring.

Have to agree. Whether the content is boring from overuse, boring because of over tuned mechanics, or boring because it doesn't present a challenge, boring is boring. People will skip boring.

  mysticaluna

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/11/11
Posts: 257

12/11/13 2:10:18 AM#13

Players won't even read quest dialogue anymore and want to be shown through cinematics instead of text. Yet, some of us are still perfectly okay with choosing the unique slower path that others avoid and will still read dialogue text. We need to be able to go back and read everything in a journal, so that we can keep up with the zerg players in our group/raids. 

Give the impatient content locuts their stuff, but please give us laid back lore hungry players lots of reading material journals to read all quest dialogue in later! 

  moguy2

Novice Member

Joined: 9/20/12
Posts: 364

Wish I had something positive to say =(

12/11/13 6:54:22 AM#14
This is a double edge sword. Because what sucks to one person might be awesome to the next. And you will NEVER satisfy everyone.
  Remianen

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/04
Posts: 34

12/25/13 12:58:02 PM#15

Matt, I'm curious about something. This column is apropos because I can think of several examples of this occurring, one of which you presided over. Remember the Mission Architect? Now, those "exploits" you called out, who determined the assets that were usable in that system? The players? Who gave, for example, Rikti Communications Officers their xp value? Was that the players too? Prior to the Mission Architect, who gave underlings and NPC summoned pets their XP value? Guess that was the players also.

My issue is with designers, like terratricks alluded to, who have zero knowledge, understanding, or experience with behavioral psychology, trying to use that as a basis for the design of content. It has been proven, for two decades, that a collective playerbase is infinitely more resourceful than the people creating the game in question. When you're creating the mountain impeding the progress of the river, you also have the opportunity to determine where the river will flow. But here's the unique part. You also have a hand in how the river flows because you can turn it into a creek (slowing the rate at which it can erode the mountain) or even a lake (stopping its flow and trapping it in its location until it can find suitable downslopes to use gravity to make it flow). In other words, all the power is in the hands of the designer. Pulling the 'exploit' card simply because players found a way to defeat your creation that you never considered is a copout. Here's an example: You never intended arcane salvage to be an order of magnitude more valuable than tech salvage. Yet, you made seven of the Power 10 enhancements, the most used enhancement types in the game, along with a few extremely popular non-Power 10 enhancements (like endurance modification which nearly every character needed at least 3 of for Stamina), require arcane salvage. That's the power of a designer to influence player behavior.

Perhaps I'm sensitive to the 'exploit' thing because it's thrown around so much. I remember early in EverQuest's life, things like kiting and feign death pulling and pet pulling were considered exploits. It got to the point where the developers actively tried to do away with these practices (like making snare cancel on damage exactly like root did), to their own detriment (that snare change was reverted QUICK). Charm killing (especially for enchanters in Planes of Power and Bards in general, using the swarm offshoot) is another valid tactic that comes to mind. Nowadays, kiting is a bedrock feature/ability in almost all MMOs (even EVE ffs!) just like tank & spank (which was probably the only 'acceptable' tactic those early designers thought of). The designer has the ability to shape player behavior. If they relinquish that power, it's not the fault of the players. Not deciding is still a decision, after all.

Remianen Xfire Miniprofile
  Speely

Novice Member

Joined: 2/16/13
Posts: 864

12/25/13 2:01:59 PM#16

Interesting read. Games that rely on progression through static content are of course going to face design challenges in regard to how players experience it. Even well-designed, engaging content will become mundane and commonplace over time, and as playerbases mature, this landscape of static content blocks will become a roadmap with clearly marked routes of easiest progression. 

I know it's easier said than done, but dynamic content is less prone to facilitate such cartography. Since playerbases are both very capable at navigating content and the most dynamic part of any online game, a greater focus on providing them with content generation tools becomes an attractive potentiality. 

Note that these tools need not necessarily be literal content generation methods ala EQL, for example (though these tools can certainly be effective as well.) A modular, almost language-based design of content that allows for several variables (like location, participating npcs, time, area layout, etc) to change based on player actions could also provide a dynamic element. Quests that were built from multiple "blocks" could differ in as many ways as there are permutations of said block combinations. The magnitude of divergence would of course be limited by a number of things, but could conceivably be of use in limiting formulaic approaches to content existing in the game world.

This approach could extend to every element of the game, potentially; dungeons, bosses, building, etc.

Generally, since players are so adept at being creative when navigating content, a smart approach to providing content might be attempting to involve said players' actions. Maybe?

Maybe.

http://www.mmorpg.com/blogs/PerfArt