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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why do MMOs always get dumbed down?

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40 posts found

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/06/14
Posts: 388

7/06/14 10:39:15 PM#21
If you want a more challenging experience, why don't you make it for yourself?

You don't have to use cookie cutter builds.
You don't have to wear the best gear.
You don't have to use overpowered skills.
You don't have to min/max.

Here's my issue:

You don't actually want more difficult content, if you did you would follow my examples.

What you want is content that is tuned specifically for you. Content that is just easy enough that you can beat but difficult enough that others can't beat. You want to brag and rub your e-peen in their face. You want everyone to know how truly awesome you are.

That attitude, the 'my e-peen is bigger than yours' attitude, ruins video games. More people quit playing games because of obnoxious players than for any other reason.

This is why they set the bar so low because the don't want obnoxious players hanging around. They want the elites to come in, pick up the game, do their thing, then get the fudge out before they ruin it for everyone else.

Elite Member

Joined: 5/09/04
Posts: 5615

7/07/14 12:54:38 AM#22

Adding complexity usually requires an exponential amount of time. However, I think its doable if you keep your aspirations small. Something like a 3 class system allows for much more complexity to those particular classes than something absurd like a 64 class system.

I also think how most reviews are written contribute to this. Basically the reviewer goes down a checklist of what they feel should make a good mmo, and dock games for adding complexity by leaving something on their list out. I have seen a lot of games get harsh reviews for what are really cosmetics. Lets take Granado Espada for example. Its combat system is very engaging and complex. It was hit bad in reviews because the base 5 characters did not offer much customization. The customization was never really the point of the game. Another two good examples are Mabinogi and Vindictus.


Advanced Member

Joined: 7/15/10
Posts: 1737

7/07/14 1:05:06 AM#23

Stopped taking you seriously when you referenced old WoW.

Larger time sink =/= Hard and skill worthy.

The mechanics of today's top end fights require far more skill than that of the older expansions, this is a core part of any game with a large lifespan as we are substantially better players now then we were back then.



Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/18/14
Posts: 23

7/07/14 1:59:59 AM#24
Companies usually dumb down content to get consumers. There are honestly less "hardcore" players compared to a few years ago. Many people do play games on a more casual basis. But there is also the fact of competition. There's alot more mmos to choose from than there were say 7-8 years ago. One game I used to play hardcore was FFXI, but new games happened plus they banned people like crazy in their early years, which is good and bad. Some people dont feel its worth restarting in some games if there are better looking games that pop up. As a result in that game, they overhauled alot to be more "new player friendly." By this, I mean taking out many one-a-day spawning monsters and adding spawned versions. Alot of other changes as well.

Novice Member

Joined: 1/16/08
Posts: 959

7/08/14 1:56:18 AM#25

obvious reasons

cheaper, easier, faster to design

the majority of target audience was dumbed down


not so obvious

secret subreptitious inconscient reason, overall negative effect:

there is an intention to endocrinate, program players to certain behaviours suited for certain ideologies, just like anything else in entertainment/culture 


ultima online school player vs wow+recent mmos players are directly antagonic human beings on dozens of traits


Elite Member

Joined: 1/07/06
Posts: 6444

The adult I am takes care of most things real life. However my inner-child is a GAMER!!

7/08/14 2:45:09 AM#26
Originally posted by Dihoru
MMOs do not get dumbed down, they get tweaked to fix issues and you grow more adept at them.

Not only that but during all my years of gaming especially in this genre we already could see years ago what the new majority wants which is what we have gotten the last few years.

Then there is internet acces for almost anyone, when someone feels something is to hard they acces internet in search how to "cheat" their way thru it, we have masses who use add-ons cause they seem unequipe to play a game the way it's made and bring themself to boredom cause they find out they do not like handholding yet they mold a game so that the game does excectly that with those add-ons.

Yet people keep blaming developers and not seeing what it's playing commununity or more often it's leaving community does to this genre. The all want challenge and when a game gives challenge they start to whine that it's to hard, they want innovation yet when innovations stares them in the face the completely ignore and want more of what they know.

But then again I thank my long gaming experiance and even in these "dumped down" games I am able to find my own niche/challenge.

But do long for something more akin to a virtual world then these games worlds we are presented the last several years. Even if I do enjoy some of them my heart goes out for allot more then what is given. But am not expecting it anymore due to the toxic nature of today's complainers in this genre. (commonly speaking of course)


Novice Member

Joined: 5/13/14
Posts: 278

7/08/14 3:09:05 AM#27
Originally posted by prowess

I'm just going to leave this here....

DFUW sux, if you missed DFO, you missed out.


Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/21/14
Posts: 160

7/08/14 3:47:51 AM#28

I think you're barking up the wrong tree. Games can be simple, easy and fun and they can be complex, challenging and fun. They're games. Fun/enjoyable is the primary goal. Look at two popular single player games: Skyrim, easy but a huge success. Dark Souls, very difficult/challenging but also very successful and both are a lot of fun.



Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/21/09
Posts: 530

7/08/14 3:56:50 AM#29

Because the mass majority of players want to play a GAME for the purposes of entertainment. Most have challenging lives, difficult jobs, school courses, etc. so when they set down to relax and play a game they really don't want it to be an exercise in frustration. Games with huge learning curves or where the player's character is underpowered are just not what most folks want to play, especially as a big time sink, people want to feel like a hero not be tread on like so many people's real life does. It's escapism and yes some people enjoy a maddeningly difficult experience, most people just want to win.

I for one don't need to repeat the same boss fight 50 times to figure out some one-way to kill them pattern to make myself feel accomplished. I enjoy the games for what they are. If I want more of a challenge I will PVP or log off and take a MENSA test.

I would like to give an opinion on this post, but if I agree I will offend people who disagree. While if I disagree my comment will be seen as inflammatory. Either way I will get banned by this site full of the most delicate flowers in online gaming. Ban people for giving honest opinions... beautiful. Unfortunately I still like the articles.


Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/13
Posts: 96

7/08/14 5:31:06 AM#30
Originally posted by Reeper

simpltons dont want to pay for a game




Elite Member

Joined: 3/24/05
Posts: 2425

7/08/14 6:13:00 AM#31

This is a very common complaint on the WoW forums... Most of the time done by people who have not done the hard-mode content or have all the achivements.  Read in to that what you want.


Beyond that this thread reads like it is the "pat on the back day" at the elitist club for internal admiration...




Elite Member

Joined: 12/02/04
Posts: 2699

7/08/14 6:24:10 AM#32

Originally posted by tixylix
It is always the way, something is challenging, people complain on the forums, they make it easier and those people leave any ways. In my case I love the challenge, I love achieving something that puts me in an exclusive club. My heart pumps when I know there is risk/reward and knowing I could lose, that is where excitement comes in. There is nothing fun about going around tanking every mob in the game and just mindlessly killing everything in sight to level up, that is just called a grind. The fun is having to work with other players to complete something that is hard, knowing that you might not be able to even do it with the group you have. I remember even with the early days of WoW, dungeons used to be hard and quite often we would fail because the group would fall apart. Now though you just run through it in 10 mins with no challenge and it is just boring, people just grind them for the loot only now.

Playing Operation Breakout on CS:GO, I had a mission where I had to join a death match server and grind away 30 kills with a certain gun. That was just a boring grind and it wasn't fun, yet I bet it is the exact thing people want because they just want to rush to the reward. I have another mission that I have yet to complete which is winning in competitive mode on a certain map. That has been much more exciting, there is something really on the line there, there is no guarantee that I'll ever complete it as I can fail unlike the last mission. I've tried it 3 times now and I've failed each time, that is up to 90 mins a pop. It is fun, it came down to the wire the last time I tried, I was the last man alive and my heart was pounding and my hands were shaking so badly. I lost and felt devastated, but  if I succeeded I would have had such a high. 

Those extreme emotions are things I experienced in early MMOs, ones which were challenging. I don't get that any more, MMOs are made too easy or have been dumbed down over time. You end up going through the content and you just feel nothing but boredom, everything is now a means to an end, when you get to the end you quit the game. I never used to play old MMOs to get to the end, in fact I probably never got to what you could call the end on any of them. I used to play to have fun, to feel those wild swings in emotions. Now though everything is made so everyone can experience it, it is basically just a checklist of easy content that has been designed with one thing in mind and that is levelling up your character and doing it FAST and EASY.

This is something that has always pissed me off and the reason why I ended up quitting so many MMOs in the past. I remember SWG starting off as being a hard and harsh game, every patch seemed to be doing something to make it easier though. It got to the point where we had two major game changes in an effort to make it super easy and dumb. It made no sense to me as the skill box system is far more intuitive than the talent tree system, it offered far more variety as well. I just thought it was funny because Jedi used to have harsh death penalties to keep them in line as they were meant to be rare and over powered. People though always claimed server instability killed them and whined on until they lessened the Death Penalty to basically nothing... like funny that, always someone else's fault but yours. When I died all fully geared back when Dayz came out and was a challenging game, I didn't whine on about it being the servers fault and wanting them to take the death penalty away, I just fucking got over it and started again...


Developers have become like mini celebs now though, they've all gained big egos now that fans are all communicating with them through social media and forums etc. So developers want their content to be played by everyone, they're making content that satisfies their own ego rather than what is good for the game. I just cringe every time I hear a developer saying "we spend this amount of time making whatever and only 2% of people saw it" and using it as an excuse to why they've made something easier or taken it out of the game. Like ok so just make a boring corridor instead then, make sure everything we see is exactly what everyone else is seeing. I don't get that argument, what makes open world games fun is discovering things other people haven't seen, if we're all sent down the same path each time then it isn't a world any more, besides it makes replayability boring.


I'm just so tired of all these excuses around something being challenging to why people are leaving their game. Dumbing down a game  has never made it more popular or kept players on, it just satisfies the short term and harms the long term.

players cause this, blame them and weak dev teams with no real strong minds they give always into dumb down. This will not change soon, on all fronts sandbox or themepark 99% devs are weak prolly also because of publishers $$$ is most importend so whiners always win.

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Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/09
Posts: 1082

7/08/14 6:33:35 AM#33

In game metrics and limited resources.  Would a developer spend more time and money making content thats available to the majority of their player base or the top preforming (being generous) 15% or so?  Assuming all players are spending the same amount of money on a sub.


Im not against hard content, I like having a glass ceiling to help keep me motivated to play, something that TOR lacked, but development costs are ballooning and they need to triage and try to make the content available to as many people as possible to give the majority subscribers something to keep them interested. 


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/07/04
Posts: 2609

7/08/14 6:38:39 AM#34

So they can draw in new players to replace the old ones leaving.

Do you really think a brand new player to an old MMO is going to slog through 90 levels of super hard and super grindy content that no one has played in over 5 years just so they can join the highly insular and bitter veteran players?

Hell no. They'll be gone in a week to some shiny new MMO.

It is inevitable that MMOs will lose people over time(and, yes, that includes WoW) so if they are unable to attract new players then they will slowly die.

You may call it "dumbing down" or "selling out" but Im sure the developer would call it "keeping their jobs".


Novice Member

Joined: 1/30/12
Posts: 227

7/08/14 6:54:59 AM#35
Originally posted by prowess

I'm just going to leave this here....

I am using your DFUW reference to tell a story about the term "hard" has totally different meanings for different people.

When I started playing DFUW over half a year ago it had a strong focus on PVP and allowed to gear up (basic gear, not the good stuff which needed active farming) semi afk. The game was mostly about PVP, which was challenging and fun. I lost a lot of gear, but it was replacable without going through the boredom of actively grinding brain dead mobs for too many hours.

Then the guys on the VIP forum started crying about not being forced to PVE enough. It would make the game a "PVP arena" type of game if you only actively farmed for good gear, food, potions, clan warware items etc. And AV listened to these guys.

During the discussion about these changes that added lots of "content" that has absolutely no challenge in it I was called "easy moder" or similar a lot. And I wondered how someone is an easy moder if he doesn't enjoy dumbed down, boring, bugged content. Took me a bit but then I realized that these guys used the terms "hard" to describe the challenge of bearing with the boredom of killing mobs for many hours constantly.

So yes, everybody has their own definition about what's "hard".


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/19/13
Posts: 581

7/08/14 6:57:08 AM#36

Stop playing monopoly jr and complaining they dumbed down monopoly. There are plenty of games around that are hard. Uncharted waters online, priates of the burning seas,  mortal online, and dungeons and dragons online. Make a rouge in ddo, and try to solo everything. Even games like lord of the rings online have challenges , try to make max level with out dieing. 

If you want the reason why look at the history channel, it went from teaching people history to reailty tv shows. Btw ulitma online never got dumbed down it got a lot harder over the years. The only thing they did was make it so people could get away from the obnoxious,  crazys by going to tram. If uo didn't do that there would be no one playing uo

Being contantly killed by some one who understands the game better, cause he is a jerk is not making a game complex.  A shipbuilding system that requires a long hard grind, and ships can be made useless if you dont understand what your doing is hard. 


Elite Member

Joined: 5/04/12
Posts: 2836

7/08/14 7:15:01 AM#37

In the same game one has players with tens of thousands (even hundreds of thousands) of experience in either that game or across a genre that is very similar and players that just started.

As you increase difficulty the smaller the number of players can do it.

One can say "look at darksouls".

Sure darksouls did good, but 2.3 millions around all the platforms isn't an amazing number of sales, just when you consider the type of game.

Then there is the type of skill you ask for.

Timing? Hours spent preparing? Social interaction leading to a network of people?

People will complain about any skill requirement that they are bad at and demand that all challenge fit the skill they are good at.


For example, many people complaining about the jumping skill required for the new zone in GW2. Anyone that has no problem at jumping just breeze past it since it is quite easy even compared to medium difficulty jumps already in the game.


Currently playing: GW2
Going cardboard starter kit: Ticket to ride, Pandemic, Carcassonne, Dominion, King of Tokyo


Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/11/10
Posts: 192

7/08/14 7:32:12 AM#38

Its about MONEY.  And no commentary on player base capability, nor culture nor any other little aspect of today's gaming will change that.  Anything that facilitates income is in, anything that generates overhead or expenditures is out.


It switched from Fun to Money about 20 years ago.  Long enough ago that the thin tendrils of greed were not quite perceptible in the beginning and only now have manifested into Kraken tentacles.


Novice Member

Joined: 10/12/12
Posts: 2125

7/08/14 9:51:23 AM#39

Money. It's literally the only reason.


Appealing to Joe Turd and his inability to press a single key without fat fingering half the keyboard every time he uses a skill.


If you make the game so simple a small dog could play it, that's more money to be milked from consumers.

Currently Playing: ESO and FFXIV
Have played: You name it
If you mention rose tinted glasses, you better be referring to Mitch Hedberg.


Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 22588

7/08/14 4:09:19 PM#40
because achievements in games are just illusions, and most players don't want to spend time learning how to play a mere video game?
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