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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Have dev's learned the quest hub lesson yet?

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66 posts found
  ReallyNow10

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/11/10
Posts: 1647

Don't give us stories. Give us worlds and we will make our own stories.

 
OP  8/18/14 9:20:59 PM#1

Or are we going to see some more $40 million dollar MMO's splash and crash?

I mean, they've had like 10 years worth of examples.  One would think they'd learn.

  DMKano

Elite Member

Joined: 6/17/11
Posts: 5444

8/18/14 9:24:37 PM#2

When was the last time we've even had a $40mil MMO - every AAA MMORPG recently has been more than double that.

 

  DamonVile

Elite Member

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 4820

8/18/14 9:27:32 PM#3

When was the last time an mmo these forum posters call fail actually failed ?

If you can't learn a simple thing like other people like things I don't how can you expect the devs to learn complex things like mmo game design ?

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.

  Triadninja

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/10/10
Posts: 110

8/18/14 9:53:28 PM#4

It all comes down to what makes money. The quest hub design is what makes money, and unfortunately, companies are going to follow the money. That's what a company is for, to make money.

 

I hate quest hubs as well, trust me. I got an invite into the ArcheAge beta and was excited to try out something new, especially after hearing all the cool sandbox elements that were going to fill ArcheAge. I was greeted instantly by "Go meet person X in town Y" which showed it was still a quest hub game. Not only that, the minimap on the side looked like it was straight out of TERA, and made the game feel very "closed", even though the game is supposed to be huge.

 

Look at a game like Runescape. Sure, childish and silly up front, but it does something that not many MMOs do, and that is their version of quests: They are actual quests, and not just tasks. You are given a list of every quest in the game, and you can choose to do whichever quest you want, although some of the quests will have requirements of certain skills. Some quests are harder than others, however the main thing about all theses quests: You can start off on one end of the world, and by the end of it, be on the complete other side of the world. Not all quests are like that, but even the smaller quests are interesting and engaging. Sort of like each quest is a mini story, with the world's lore enveloping all of it.

 

I think one of the major problems as well is that most developers seem to create the quests, and then create the zones to fit each series of quests. Nobody makes "worlds" anymore, with different places, sights, and openness. Look at a game like Anarchy Online(I know that game gets hate, but I love it): Every zone was made as part of an overall world, though each zone has its own "Uniqueness" about it, and it isn't just some "thing" to act as a means for questing. The lore for it is spread out around the world through various NPCs/Mobs/Items, and the quests are simliar to Runescape's in that you start off in one area, and travel around to different zones.

  Ergload

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/12
Posts: 283

8/18/14 10:53:20 PM#5
Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.


Currently playing: Achaea

  Torvaldr

Elite Member

Joined: 6/10/09
Posts: 5822

8/18/14 10:54:04 PM#6
Originally posted by ReallyNow10

Or are we going to see some more $40 million dollar MMO's splash and crash?

I mean, they've had like 10 years worth of examples.  One would think they'd learn.

It kind of sounds like you're implying that non-quest hub design would be more successful.

Also, I would argue that more games have been successful than have "crashed" as you put it. I also don't think those that did crash did so because they had quest hubs.

Successful Quest Hub Games (non-exhaustive list):

WoW (obvious game is first), EQ2, LotRO, GW2, Neverwinter, STO, Marvel Heroes, GW1, DCUO, Champions Online, Aion, Rift, Tera, Forsaken World, SWTOR, and several smaller or foreign (to NA) titles that have been around for years. There are likely a lot more that could be added to the list.

Crashed Quest Hub Games:

Warhammer Online, Tabula Rasa, CoH - it's closed but not what I would call crashed and certainly not due to being a quest hubber.

Verdict is still out on:

Wildstar, TESO

Curse you AquaScum!

  User Deleted
8/18/14 11:05:55 PM#7
Originally posted by Ergload
Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

^ this

end of thread!

  Nitth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3306

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

8/18/14 11:09:23 PM#8


Originally posted by Ergload
Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.


TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  Ergload

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/12
Posts: 283

8/18/14 11:16:35 PM#9
Originally posted by Nitth

 


Originally posted by Ergload
Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

 

I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.

About what, specifically?


Currently playing: Achaea

  Omali

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/16/09
Posts: 1113

8/18/14 11:18:56 PM#10
Originally posted by DamonVile

When was the last time an mmo these forum posters call fail actually failed ?

If you can't learn a simple thing like other people like things I don't how can you expect the devs to learn complex things like mmo game design ?

The Old Republic. It failed so hard that over one million people log in every month, which is less than 1.1 million and therefore a failure.

  Nitth

Elite Member

Joined: 7/29/10
Posts: 3306

Magic Propels my Rolly Chair.

8/18/14 11:21:04 PM#11


Originally posted by Ergload

Originally posted by Nitth  

Originally posted by Ergload Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.
  I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.
About what, specifically?

A zone is a mechanism to balance server load, It doesn't inherently have to be related in anyway to quest hubs. That's up to the developer implementation.


TSW - AoC - Aion - WOW - EVE - Fallen Earth - Co - Rift - || XNA C# Java Development

  Robokapp

Elite Member

Joined: 11/15/09
Posts: 4678

The only luck I had today was to have you as my opponent.

8/18/14 11:22:06 PM#12
Originally posted by Omali
Originally posted by DamonVile

When was the last time an mmo these forum posters call fail actually failed ?

If you can't learn a simple thing like other people like things I don't how can you expect the devs to learn complex things like mmo game design ?

The Old Republic. It failed so hard that over one million people log in every month, which is less than 1.1 million and therefore a failure.

Addictinggames.com gets more traffic than that.

  Ergload

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/02/12
Posts: 283

8/18/14 11:29:44 PM#13
Originally posted by Nitth

 


Originally posted by Ergload

Originally posted by Nitth  

Originally posted by Ergload Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.
  I'm sorry, I think your mistaken.
About what, specifically?

 

A zone is a mechanism to balance server load, It doesn't inherently have to be related in anyway to quest hubs. That's up to the developer implementation.

 

Thats true on paper, though most WoW-style games have turned zones into quest hubs because its far easier to implement zones as areas to progressively level, rather than having players running all over the world looking for stuff to grind on.

But yes, if you boil down "zone" to the simplest definition, and not what its used for 95% of the time, it is indeed a server load mechanism.


Currently playing: Achaea

  sunandshadow

Elite Member

Joined: 12/05/13
Posts: 639

8/19/14 1:18:47 AM#14
Originally posted by Ergload
Quest hubs = zones. Zones are used to herd players like cattle from one area of the game to the next. Its the staple of the themepark MMO, and it makes the most money because there are alot more people who enjoy a simplified, hand-holding gaming experience then people who want deep, dive-headfirst-into-the-deepend sandbox mechanics.

I also want to disagree with part of this.  I've played multiple sandbox games and multiple themepark games, and sandboxes do not inherently have deeper mechanics than themeparks.  Personally I like quest-giving NPCs and guiding players from one area to the next as a mechanic for delivering story and explaining the world to players a bit at a time, in a way that helps player get immersed and enjoy imagining themselves playing a role in a unique world.  It's not about simplification, as much as storification.  I also personally prefer sandparks to either themeparks or sandparks.  I believe that in theory a sandpark could offer the deepest mechanics, simply because it can have (almost) all of the mechanics of both other types put together.  But there are complex themeparks and shallow sandboxes just as there are complex sandboxes and shallow sandparks.  Depth of mechanics and gameplay experience does not correlate with one type or the other.  It's individual to a game, and even to particular sub-systems within a game which were designed by different developers on that's game's team.

  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12311

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

8/19/14 2:00:37 AM#15
Originally posted by ReallyNow10

Or are we going to see some more $40 million dollar MMO's splash and crash?

I mean, they've had like 10 years worth of examples.  One would think they'd learn.

 

I'm not seeing the correlation between quest hubs and the success or failure of an MMO. Can you present some data to support this rather odd assertion? 

 

"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

  DrunkWolf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/07/09
Posts: 1083

8/19/14 2:02:06 AM#16
Originally posted by ReallyNow10

Or are we going to see some more $40 million dollar MMO's splash and crash?

I mean, they've had like 10 years worth of examples.  One would think they'd learn.

 

Its not going to go away because people keep buying them.

even if they quit after only a couple months these companies dont care they are in it for the quick money and themepark quest hub games keep selling so they keep making them. if players want change then players need to stop buying the same crap over and over.

  fivoroth

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 2776

8/19/14 2:21:57 AM#17
No quests means no story. Could you quest hating folk gives an example of an alternative? Stop saying you don't want quest hubs. What do you want? Please don't tell me you want us to go back to the 90s where mob grinding was the norm. Cause that's even more simplistic and certainly more boring.

Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3349

8/19/14 4:50:51 AM#18
Originally posted by DMKano

When was the last time we've even had a $40mil MMO - every AAA MMORPG recently has been more than double that.

 

     So true.. but the thing is.. Why does it cost $40 million plus to begin with..  Give me a staff of 100 full time employees, that will suck up $6 million/yr and another $100k/yr for Admin/Overhead cost, and $1 million for building location..  There is NO REASON to spend more then $35 million (5 year span) to produce a AAA game..  But then if you set up shop in a HIGH cost of living area like San Diego, no wonder it cost so much..  How about these gaming companies set up shop in West Virginia, and save half their budget..

  Lyrian

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/23/07
Posts: 249

8/19/14 7:33:05 AM#19

I 'sort of' indirectly like quest hubs in the sense of "Yes, here's a city or settlement. They need me to go do stuff for them." but where I think it's lacking is that the quests themselves are static, and that you're essentially following a pre-written script (in the sense it'll never change).

There needs to be some sort of evolution for quest hubs, which I directly feel is tied into the world itself. Right now MMOs are story driven events that herd the players through hoops or checkpoints with no consequences for inaction. I can see the evolution of questing to be something like what EQN is promising in the sense of their storybricks questing model. NPCs should have their own goals and they should try to execute them at the expense of anything else.

The problem and benefit I can see here is that the content would force the player to become reactive. The player would not have a choice to engage the content, because the content would engage him/her. Which could lead to player fatigue and exhaustion. But could also lead to the player finding things that they may not have normally decided to look at.

The further problem with such content too, could stem towards overwhelming a small player base. If players have progressed beyond a content's level range or area, how far is it allowed to progress? Or what is it that will entice older and more powerful players to return to it?

Thinking loosely about the game design I can see some sort of economic incentive that would entice players to return to areas such as required materials (pelts, ore, blood, etc) for higher end crafting (say for a player castle you need 5000 units of X type leather pelts, and a market that will support buy orders for said pelts, giving players a reason to go farm such items.)

Or possibly even expanding on that and creating actual 'events' for an area on an even greater scale than Rift events. Where entire raids of players will be needed to stem an orc invasion, across multiple zones, with enough incentives to make players 'want' and 'need' to participate in them.

  User Deleted
8/19/14 7:36:03 AM#20
There is nothing wrong with quest hubs if the stuff they give you to do is fun.
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