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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why do we applaud such weak innovation?

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75 posts found
  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1115

7/20/14 4:52:42 PM#41

Innovative.  I don't think that word means what you think it does.   Certainly not in this context.  

 

Innovative does not mean only changes that you (or I) like.

 

MMOs tend to be about 5 year projects, with many elements nailed down in the first year  or so of development.  If you are in year four of development, and you decide to redo some basic idea, you are looking at years of redevelopment.   And like hotels, their has to be consideration of making a profit on your project, or else your project (and possibly your career) will crater.

 

Innovation (usually) comes with its costs.  Take the 'excessive voice acting' of SWTOR.  It was an innovation of sorts, but it brings with it problems.  You can be far less agile in your story/writing, when you have to voice everything.  No longer can you call up a text editor and redo things on the fly.   I personally found that there were main characters that I wouldn't ever play because of the way the character was voiced.  

 

Innovation is wonderful!  Innovation is dangerous.

 

And it may be totally disregarded.   Van Gogh sold two paintings while he was alive.

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

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3880

7/20/14 5:37:37 PM#42
Originally posted by PioneerStew
Originally posted by Iselin
Originally posted by PioneerStew
Originally posted by Iselin

So OP... in an MMO context what would you consider "truly different"?

 

I can't help but look at your cherry-picked list and think that maybe it's just your attitude and mood that're making you ignore the obvious incremental advances in the games you use as your negative examples... 

 

... but I could be wrong. So please give us an example of a feature you would consider "truly different" in an MMO. 

In the same way that I cannot design cars, I cannot design mmo's.  

However, I can design buildings and the use of pre-fabricated pods in hotel and flat design allows you to build them vastly more cheaply and quickly, you just truck them in and get rid of all the wet or hot trades on site and most of the specialists.  

Just as I would not expect an mmo developer to build my building, I would not pretend to be a designer of mmos. 

 

Good example actually.

 

You as a building designer have a unique appreciation of innovation in building design whereas the majority of hotel room guests would neither know nor care less about this particular innovation you can appreciate. They'll like or not like their hotel room stay for totally personal and semi-random reasons. And some of those reasons can even be totally dependent on the mood or attitude of the guest. But the bottom line is that it's just a hotel room to them not all that different from any hotel rooms from 10 years ago.

 

So you have no idea what went into designing an MMO in a particular way. You just know that you find, to use one of your examples, the use of voice acting in SWTOR "excessive". To you it's just another MMO not all that different from any MMO from 10 years ago.

The difference being that the raison d'etre for these hotels is to make a return on the initial investment over circa 25 years.  As I said above, they are not boutiques in the centre of some historic city, they are largely for people on business trips.  In order to achieve this the best innovations are those that enable them to be built more quickly and cheaply.  

Surely the point of mmo's is to attract and retain players, and to do that you need to provide a reason for those players not to go to the competition.  It requires an entirely different response.  That is where the innovation in mmo's should be taking us.  

Again, as I said above the only real innovation seems to be in the monetization system.  So yes, games are treated like my example above, in order to get the best return for the least effort and I would argue that is why so many modern mmo's are bleeding players a few months after launch.     

And my point is that there has been a lot of innovation but you either don't see it or are just not enjoying yourself very much ATM so you are not inclined to see them as innovations. To you they're just "the same old shit"... but it's you, not the MMOs.

  immodium

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/03/07
Posts: 1324

7/20/14 5:47:12 PM#43
It has nothing to do with innovation. We applaud if it's a good game or not. Being innovative has no bearing on whether a game is good or not.

  Shaigh

Elite Member

Joined: 3/07/13
Posts: 313

7/20/14 5:50:44 PM#44

Most people don't look for innovative games, they look for games that can give them an improved experience of something they previously played. Its all over these forums.

  • UO and SWG players looking for a sandbox that reminds them of their old game
  • EQ players looking for a new oldschool MMO
  • DaoC players looking for RvR experiences
  • WoW players looking for the game that can take them back to the fun they had when playing vanilla, tbc or whatever expansion they liked the most.
 
The only time they look at something different is when something gets crazy hyped.
  cerulean2012

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/12
Posts: 284

7/20/14 5:57:08 PM#45
Originally posted by Quizzical
...

Guild Wars 2, meanwhile, brought dynamic events to the game.  Other games had public quests, but GW2 was the first to largely build a world around it, rather than having a few public quests off in a corner for people to ignore.

You are wrong on this. Rift had them before GW2 only in Rift they call them rifts but it is the same thing.

  Bootez

Apprentice Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 55

7/20/14 6:02:02 PM#46
Originally posted by Tyvolus4
Originally posted by ryvendark

I'm not looking for a game to replace my life or have my wildest fantasy fulfilled. I play a game to have fun. It doesn't have to be a totally unique experience with every new game.

I think a better question would be why do some gamers have totally unrealistic expectations when it comes to mmos. If every mmo "fails" to live up to what you think it could be....do you really think it's them and not you ?

Here is what I would like to see in an MMO:

 

1) open game world, no lobbies, arenas, BG's, instances.  NONE.

2) no limits to who I can guild, party, chat with.  Allow for game design and mechanics to determine how players align, by the players own choosing.

3) difficult, game play.  not over the top hardcore mode crazy, but if I die, make it HURT... just not to the point where I want to quit.  some of us have lives, families or tv shows to watch too.

4) difficult gameplay = PvP.  WELL done, thought out PvP...also allow servers for the carebears.  that way they can STFU and all hold hands and be friends in candyland together.

5) decent PvP and decent PvE all in one game....YES it can be done.  it aint hard.  L2 had decent pve and pvp.

6) themepark elemts are ok, as long as sandpark elements exist as well.

7) piss off with the hand holding. 

 

This sounds boring as f---.
  Deddmeat

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/20/10
Posts: 332

Not sure how I got K.A.E.S last PvP was CoD and UO lol

7/20/14 6:15:27 PM#47


Originally posted by Shaigh
Most people don't look for innovative games, they look for games that can give them an improved experience of something they previously played. Its all over these forums.
  • UO and SWG players looking for a sandbox that reminds them of their old game EQ players looking for a new oldschool MMO DaoC players looking for RvR experiences WoW players looking for the game that can take them back to the fun they had when playing vanilla, tbc or whatever expansion they liked the most.
  The only time they look at something different is when something gets crazy hyped.

This is sooo true

I played both UO and SWG and THAT is the sort of game i want

Btw ..The first game to create a real purpose for skills and truly interesting dungeons was DDO .. Incorrect, UO was skill based, everyone went for 7 GM skills, they could train skills up and set others to train down while locking certain one's in place.

I haven't seen anything like that since and it was one the THE most social games, along with AO, yet another skill based game, before DDO.SWG was very social as well.

So the DDO for real purpose for skills i'd say is incorrect. For the dungeon's .. now that's right. When i played it anyway, we had a 3 hour dungeon, only 1 had to leave and we stopped multiple times for someone to deal with their baby, me to get coffee (hey, it's important stuff) and other's phone calls.

Nowadays i don't think people have the patience for that though.

  Sengi

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 344

7/21/14 11:46:01 AM#48
Originally posted by Deddmeat

This is sooo true

I played both UO and SWG and THAT is the sort of game i want

Btw ..The first game to create a real purpose for skills and truly interesting dungeons was DDO .. Incorrect, UO was skill based, everyone went for 7 GM skills, they could train skills up and set others to train down while locking certain one's in place.

I haven't seen anything like that since and it was one the THE most social games, along with AO, yet another skill based game, before DDO.SWG was very social as well.

So the DDO for real purpose for skills i'd say is incorrect. For the dungeon's .. now that's right. When i played it anyway, we had a 3 hour dungeon, only 1 had to leave and we stopped multiple times for someone to deal with their baby, me to get coffee (hey, it's important stuff) and other's phone calls.

Nowadays i don't think people have the patience for that though.

I think this is really the core of the problem. There may be innovation in the mmo-genre, but it all happens within very narrow confinements.

The mmo-genre is not what it ones was. Before the advent of WoW it was much more diverse but after WoW it went through a very narrow bottleneck. The sandboxes where driven into the niche and the themepark genre was narrowed down too.

One could say that the old mmo-genre died and what we have today is the WoW-clone-genre (or the WoW-successor-genre if you want to put it mildly). There was innovation but it all consisted of tinkering around with the WoW-model. For the last decade the developers tried to remake WoW and add some minor changes to it, for example to remake it with the Star Wars franchise and add voiceovers.

It seems to me that a lot of people have lost the ability to think outside the box and imagine that there can be a game that isn't based on linear quest and dungeon grinding.

 

WoW propelled mmos into the mainstream but it also held back their evolution for a decade. Imagine what the successors of UO and Star Wars Galaxies might have looked like, but unfortunately they where never made.

 

I never really liked it, but apparently this was what the majority of players wanted for the last decade. Why not stick to a model as long as it sells, although these WoW-successors where never really successful.

But in the recent years the customers started to get bored with the WoW-model and new games became increasingly less successful as you can see with Elder Scrolls Online.

I hope we are going to see more innovation and more variety in the future alongside with a revival of the sandbox genre, although it is hard to predict what Everquest Next will be like or what will come out of these Kickstarter mmos.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10880

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

7/21/14 1:27:57 PM#49

There is an article on Slashdot talking about why the cheap T-Mobile phones are so bug ridden and why the free market doesn't reward companies for fixing things like that.

 

http://features-beta.slashdot.org/story/14/07/21/1247211/why-my-lg-optimus-cellphone-is-worse-than-its-supposed-to-be

 

Basically the gist of the article is that things like number of bugs or cr@p you have to deal with isn't easily quantifiable the way a feature list is, so when a developer has to cut some corners, they cut corners on the things that aren't easily quantifiable and focus on the things that are quantifiable.  This seems to be part of the reason we get a large feature list with new releases, but bugs tend to run around unsquished for a long time.  Consumers will reward producers for giving them a larger quantifiable list of things rather than a smaller list of things that work better.

 

You could apply this thinking to new games or MMORPGs where consumers will reward producers that provide an easily quantifiable list of things they are familiar with, rather than a large list of things that they aren't familiar with and which can't be easily quantified.

 

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  rojoArcueid

Elite Member

Joined: 8/13/09
Posts: 5693

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

7/21/14 1:42:24 PM#50

Based on the OP thread, i think he is just hating on GW2. His points on GW2 are the only ones he sarcastically states as negative. Plus he only stated the wrong points.

Hearts and ! are the same thing, they only made it less tedious and shared between everyone, that is a plus. 80's platform design turned into trivial distractions.... are you talking about jumping puzzles? If so, its ok you dont like them, i personally dislike the crappy rewards after a long and frustratingly fun jumping journey. It was innovation within the genre mmorpg and i still applaud it.

 

Your other points regarding other games seem OK  so my question to you is, why the hate on GW2? If you look at the good things it has you wouldnt be posting this nonsense as a reason to blame weak innovation. Its not a perfect game and id love to see some improvements in some areas, but it has done a lot of things better than most current mmos.

  PioneerStew

Elite Member

Joined: 9/24/11
Posts: 811

 
OP  7/21/14 1:54:41 PM#51
Originally posted by rojoArcueid

Based on the OP thread, i think he is just hating on GW2. His points on GW2 are the only ones he sarcastically states as negative. Plus he only stated the wrong points.

Hearts and ! are the same thing, they only made it less tedious and shared between everyone, that is a plus. 80's platform design turned into trivial distractions.... are you talking about jumping puzzles? If so, its ok you dont like them, i personally dislike the crappy rewards after a long and frustratingly fun jumping journey. It was innovation within the genre mmorpg and i still applaud it.

 

Your other points regarding other games seem OK  so my question to you is, why the hate on GW2? If you look at the good things it has you wouldnt be posting this nonsense as a reason to blame weak innovation. Its not a perfect game and id love to see some improvements in some areas, but it has done a lot of things better than most current mmos.

There are elements of GW2 that I enjoy.  it is a solid casual mmo that is fun to play in small doses.  

There are two aspects I dislike, the first is the way it was held up as a shining example of innovation at release where I really saw very little.  It is a rather derivative game.  The second is this move away from interesting, immersive worlds you can explore and towards being bombarded with trivial distractions and pointless achievements as if we all suffer from ADHD these days.

In fact I would go so far as to say that a lot of the innovation present in GW1 was removed in favour of going for a more generic mmo experience.   

Unfortunately a lot of the changes mmo's have gone through are to simply add more fluff at the expense of depth and immersion.  But that is personal preference.   

  Jemcrystal

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/02/08
Posts: 1354

Let em put a slave ring thru u're nose u're prob not going to like where they're taking you. Think.

7/21/14 10:55:31 PM#52
To OP:  Glad someone else noticed DDO besides me.  Seems so few people saw it's unique value.  Not sure it's worth anything anymore tho.  They went in a totally wrong direction with it.  Not the f2p because that's when I joined.  It was making those stupid noisy guild airships when what we needed was more dungeons, an open world area, and better char creation.  I miss that game but I played it to death.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6EoRBvdVPQ

  waynejr2

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3741

RIP City of Heroes!

7/22/14 12:55:49 AM#53
Originally posted by Quizzical

If you want innovation, there's plenty of innovation out there, even if you restrict to the last ten years.  For example, try Uncharted Waters Online.  See if you can find any major mechanics that are not innovative.  If you think you've found one, that probably just means that you don't understand how it works in UWO and are trying to shoehorn it into being like something else that it's not.

Guild Wars 1 and 2 both introduced a lot of cool stuff, as ArenaNet is one of the few game studios that will build a lot of grouping content around trying to make it easy for practical to get groups.  In GW1, the approach was to let you fill out your group with henchmen and later heroes.  In GW2, you had auto-grouping for dynamic events, and having combat designed such that you really just needed to get 5 people for a dungeon group rather than having to track down particular classes.

Guild Wars 1 introduced hard mode and I think they were the first MMO to do it.  That's a huge deal.  I'm not sure if GW1 was the first MMO with the achievement system that now seems to be ubiquitous, but they had it.  Guild Wars 1 also brought a system of, you get to the cap fast and then can just go play the game and have fun.  To this day, that's unique or nearly so among MMOs.  It also brought map travel.

Guild Wars 2, meanwhile, brought dynamic events to the game.  Other games had public quests, but GW2 was the first to largely build a world around it, rather than having a few public quests off in a corner for people to ignore.

 

City of Heroes brought Dynamic Events long before GW2 was in development.
  VengeSunsoar

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4850

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

7/22/14 10:43:07 AM#54
I don't recall dynamic events in coh. What were they?

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  PioneerStew

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Joined: 9/24/11
Posts: 811

 
OP  7/22/14 10:54:22 AM#55
Originally posted by VengeSunsoar
I don't recall dynamic events in coh. What were they?

Nor do I.  Warhammer, DCUO and later iterations of WOW had dynamic events of a sort, and then Rift developed them and then GW2 developed them further.  I didn't think there were any other mmo's on that timeline.  

  User Deleted
7/22/14 11:14:42 AM#56

I don't think I'm applauding innovation, weak or not. I do applaud solid game design, which is about as rare as innovation these days.

  CrazKanuk

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Joined: 10/06/09
Posts: 1236

7/22/14 11:28:56 AM#57

The problem with the OP is context and scope, IMO. It's kinda like saying that there haven't been any innovations with cars in the past 100 years. It's true, too, if we're talking about something with 4 wheels that carries people around. Gawd! When are we ever going to innovate that wheel? I yearn for the day when I can buy a square wheel. So epic! 

 

Progress is the sum of small innovations, or weak innovations as you put it. If a game were to attempt to re-invent the genre, it would ultimately fail because it's unfamiliar. It's these so-called weak innovations which drive change for future generations of games. 

 

Next time you're thinking that games are seriously lacking in innovation, go ahead and drive through Mennonite country. I lived in a small community full of Mennonites once and I saw a number of people get literally kicked by their "car". My car has never kicked me once. That seems like a pretty good innovation. 

Crazkanuk

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  Sengi

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/01/09
Posts: 344

7/23/14 3:30:38 AM#58
Originally posted by CrazKanuk

The problem with the OP is context and scope, IMO. It's kinda like saying that there haven't been any innovations with cars in the past 100 years. It's true, too, if we're talking about something with 4 wheels that carries people around. Gawd! When are we ever going to innovate that wheel? I yearn for the day when I can buy a square wheel. So epic! 

Progress is the sum of small innovations, or weak innovations as you put it. If a game were to attempt to re-invent the genre, it would ultimately fail because it's unfamiliar. It's these so-called weak innovations which drive change for future generations of games. 

Next time you're thinking that games are seriously lacking in innovation, go ahead and drive through Mennonite country. I lived in a small community full of Mennonites once and I saw a number of people get literally kicked by their "car". My car has never kicked me once. That seems like a pretty good innovation. 

 

This kind of response has been brought up a lot. But I still agree with the OP. Maybe this is a problem of scope but the other way around. Your expectations are to low. 
If you ask me the praised innovations in the mmo genre are more like the difference between the Whopper and the Big Mac. I mean the Big Mac hast two patties instead of one how could a meal be any more different. ...  
I'm not even asking for a six course dinner but maybe we could at least try out Taco Bell next time.   
  
If you ignore that they have different graphics you have to agree that every AAA-mmo after 2004 was basically a recreation of WoW with a little twist to it, but the games still all played the same and felt the same. Even in GW2 you first grind levels and then you grind dungeons.  
To stay within the car-metaphor, what the major developers are doing is normally referred to as a face-lift. They add a cup holder and a trim and try to convince us that it is a totally new and better car. 
But maybe cars are not a good analogy, what about cell phones. Do you remember what they where like in 2004? I'm not satisfied with a Motorola RAZR V3 anymore even if it had a Elder Scrolls or a Star Wars sticker on it. 
  
Maybe this is just the customers fault. Apparently they couldn't get enough of WoW for the last 10 years. Somebody mentioned Rysom. That was really a sad story.  
I assume that if it came out today and had more action based combat it would be more successful since  the customers start to get bored by the WoW-model. Zenimax didn't get that if I want a Whopper I go to Burger King. Why should I buy the  Tamriel-Burger at their restaurant across the street when I already know that it tastes the same.  
I believe the reason why GW2 was kind of successful was because it was able to convince people that it was different from WoW even though it really wasn't and only took back some of what made GW1 different. It is the most innovative game we have as long as you don't want to explore the world of half finished indi-mmos. I know they should get more support, but I can understand that most people prefer a polished game experience.  

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3418

7/23/14 4:38:14 AM#59

We doesn't mean "ME" tho.. 

     I haven't given anyone a thumbs up since Blizzard came out with WoW.. That to me was the last of the games there were worth a damn.. I have tried some games since then, such as Rift, SWTOR, GW2 etc etc and they "ALL" have failed.. The game worlds are just way too damn small, and each one of them plays like a linear connect the dots.. GW2 was the most tolerated one.. Each one of then focused on end game grind as their main catching point.. That is a huge game breaker for me..

     Open world public interaction is what means most to me.. I have never seen such a bunch of lazy greedy programmers as I have seen in the past 10 years.. It feels as tho the RPG part of gaming has died, and been overrun by the "arcade" shoot em up Mortal Kombat players..

  kabitoshin

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/16/12
Posts: 730

7/23/14 4:53:11 AM#60
One of the top marketing guys at EA once said "Gamers don't know exactly what they want, and that's why they aren't developers". People always scream for something "innovative" but hardly ever have ideas that would catch on and be a major success in a game. Unless it's a proven formula that works, it's not a very good business decision to make something truly innovative, cause if it flopped, then that company is out of alot of money. The majority of gamers stick to what they know or else devs wouldn't keep milking the same franchise, innovation is left to the indie devs.
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