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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Why Instances bad?

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158 posts found

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 20035

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

4/20/10 4:57:11 PM#21

Instances are just a tool that can be used for good or evil, all in how they are implemented.

In WOW I never really had a problem with the raid instances, seemed like a pretty good idea, but there should have been some good open world dungeons tossed in as well but that doesn't seem to happen very often.

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Joined: 4/26/09
Posts: 596

4/20/10 5:00:34 PM#22

They CAN be good but most of the time instances are used in such a way that I feel like none of my actions matter.  If I lose in a PVP instance I can just queue up the same one five seconds later, and if I clear a dungeon with a legendary dragon then I know that I'll be doing it again next week so that I might get the sword I want.


It's all pathetic, mostly.  A good use of instancing will be APB, which tracks progress of action that takes place in instances.  Plus the instances are used in such a way that they don't seem like instances and they are also massive.


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Joined: 1/17/06
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4/20/10 5:05:25 PM#23
Originally posted by Phat_B4t

Alright, I hate instances because it reduces the realism, roleplayability, and the need for and sense of community.

How can Dragon Age Origins have instances, I thought it was a single player game?

True, so why the hell someone would even throw DA into this is baffleing. It's a single player game so it can be considered one giant instance.

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/09
Posts: 291

4/20/10 5:08:46 PM#24

I agree with most that instancing, when used sparingly in a player-centric faction-based game, can really augment the entertainment value of a game for limited situations.  But when used heavily in a faction-based game, such as Star Trek Online, it fractures community and immersion so substantially that most of the entertainment value from should be a more open massively multiplayer game is lost.   One correlation that is often drawn is, why bother paying $15/month as a subscription fee to an otherwise lobby-system shoebox single-player game.


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4/20/10 5:29:05 PM#25
Originally posted by Angorim
Originally posted by Phat_B4t

Alright, I hate instances because it reduces the realism, roleplayability, and the need for and sense of community.

How can Dragon Age Origins have instances, I thought it was a single player game?

I've seen people make a terrible comparison between "zoning" (via single player games or load screens in MMOs) and instancing (multiplayer based, particular MMO only) which separates you from the game world in your own private "room."


Instancing breaks the MMO aspect for me because I want a world full of people, not a single player game with light multiplayer functions.  If a story cannot be told within the context of a large player base and must be done with in an instance, then it really has no place in an MMO for me.


I get way better game play and storylines in single player RPGs than MMOs anyway.




the more instanced you are, the more you are NOT an MMO.  instancing fights against the whole massively multiplayer concept.

some people don't care about whether they are playing sp games, mp games, mmo games or hybrids of all of those.  i do.

for me, the MMO part has always been what made me interested in these games.  remove the massively multiplayer part and you remove all reason for me to play it.

The End
i don't expect to like Darkfall, altho i may like it MORE than other MMOs. i know it is gonna have a very frustrating level of grind to it, even if its significantly less than most. waiting for a pure FAST action virtual world. dice rolling & character levels (even "skills") IN COMBAT should have never carried over from pencil & paper to a computer that can reasonably model 3D spaces and objects


Novice Member

Joined: 4/21/10
Posts: 20

4/21/10 8:36:00 PM#26

Good instancing:  WoW, LOTRO.

Bad instancing:  GW, ST:O, CO.


See the pattern?  Games being held up by instancing aren't terribly "massive."  Selective use of instancing is much more effective.


Novice Member

Joined: 3/20/10
Posts: 489

4/21/10 9:35:35 PM#27

As already said, instancing offers a means to create more focussed, controlled challenges for players to undertake, that would be in too much danger of being wrecked if other bystanders were allowed to interfere. You can also tweak a given instance (i.e. alter mob levels within) on the fly, depending on who enters them, or allow multiple groups to undertake a challenge at once (some people may like camping world boss spawns for hours/days on end, but not me).

Or sometimes it lets a developer do those things, when they're just too lazy to make something work open-world. By it's very definition, it involves seperating the involved group/person from the main community, at least to some degree. So any time you do it, it's important that the benefits outweigh that fact.

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Joined: 12/22/08
Posts: 938

4/22/10 12:18:20 PM#28
Originally posted by SEANMCAD

Why? I do not undertand. I am not supporting them becuase I dont understand what the issue is at this time.

 Now everyone's been talking really about just the one kind of instancing which has to do with rooms / dungeons etc.... which can be good or bad by breaking up the game play and ruining the feeling.   PotBS or AoC - you go into a room  or building and have some form of loading screen (you do in LotRO too but it seems to be done in a nicer way).  SWG - door opens (objects load), you're inside yet still part of the larger world.  Now you can even look out a window and see the players outside and they can see you inside.  Which one makes you feel part of the game as a whole?

The other type of instancing is where a game will have a max number of players set for an area be it open or a battlefield and when that number is reached a complete clone of the area is created.  SWG did this but when you clicked on the 'dungeon' it gave you the choice of instance 1, 2, 3 etc.... Now AoC or DDO just creates a new area and you may not know it's happened until you and your buddy are trying to hook up.  You see thier dot on the radar, but can't see them on the visual.  You're in instance A and they're in instance B.  While you can hook up and get into the same one it's generally a pain.

That kind of instance is generally used more to reduce server load and lag load on the client side.  While it's great to see 150 players in one spot, moving might be another thing entirely.

SWG - AoC - PotBS - DDO - LotRO - STO - GnH - SWToR


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Joined: 10/27/03
Posts: 1125

4/23/10 7:50:29 PM#29
Originally posted by Axehilt

Some people want Worlds, not Games.  For these players, instancing is contrary to the primary reason they enjoy MMORPGs.

For you (the OP) and me (and most gamers really), we value gameplay above all.  So we see all of the significant gameplay gains resulting from intsancing and consider it perfectly acceptable.


The popularity of Elder Scrolls and GTA makes that point arguable.  I think most gamers want a world, but MMORPGs that create worlds are either poorly designed or not advertised well to tap into those who would want a world.


-As far as instances, theme park gamers love em and world sim gamers like me hate them.

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Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/27/09
Posts: 181

4/23/10 9:07:36 PM#30

I don't mind instances too much. I think it is fun to cast them when I find my character in dire straits. I think that it can be exceedingly helpful. But, I prefer to hold off on them because waiting for them to reload is bad in a high level area.


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Joined: 12/06/06
Posts: 1285

4/24/10 8:50:28 AM#31
Originally posted by Mardy

Instances isn't bad.  It's when a game overuse instance technology and fill the game up with nothing but instances.  So you feel like you're playing a mini game by yourself, rather than with "massive" amounts of other players.  Unfortunately most games do overuse instances.

Agreed.  Some people don't like instances alltogether (they feel the mmo should be entirely persistent and open), but I believe that the proper mix of open and instances is important for a mmo to cater to a larger amount of playstyles.  There are some nights where you don't mind fighting with another guild for the world kill, and there's other nights where you just don't want to deal with all the dbags.  That's why instances provide great value if not overused.


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Posts: 731


4/24/10 8:57:27 AM#32
Originally posted by Mardy

Instances isn't bad.  It's when a game overuse instance technology and fill the game up with nothing but instances.  So you feel like you're playing a mini game by yourself, rather than with "massive" amounts of other players.  Unfortunately most games do overuse instances.

Instance is equivalent of mutiplayer and oposite of massive mutiplayer. Thats why for some players every usage of instance ruin the feeling of immersion and social itteraction in MMOs.

If I want quick balanced action I go and play some multiplayer game like DoTA, HoN or even shooters, but when want some deeper social gamepay I really hate to play game with instances which name themself massive!

Where themepark games try to hide that they are copying WOW, games like Mortal Online and Darkfall make no attempt to hide their inspiration


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Posts: 1469

4/25/10 8:43:37 AM#33

Originally posted by SEANMCAD
Why? I do not undertand. I am not supporting them becuase I dont understand what the issue is at this time.

Instances prevent interaction between the players. There are cases where there's a need to control interplayer interaction; preventing griefing is a big one. However, IMHO, interactions between the players is the main point to an MMO, so instancing needs to be kept to a minimum.


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Posts: 3120

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4/25/10 8:54:18 AM#34

I like instances. No, I love them. They allow for dynamic content that isn't possible in static zones.


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Posts: 611

4/25/10 11:13:08 PM#35

Seamless open overworld, instanced major dungeons, with a few open dungeons thrown in for variety = my dream game.

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LARPer Hunter

4/25/10 11:24:14 PM#36

I'm just glad to see the first page of replies full of some sense. You can overdo it, but there's no way to capture interesting content in an MMO without a bit of personalization. I for one am over trying to fight  for mobs in a public zone with no event scripts or triggers. It's just like the boring overworlds being plagued by mob farmers, and does not add anything to my play experience whatsoever, beyond being reassured I'm not the only one playing... but at the cost of sheer annoyances.

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Joined: 4/24/10
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Half the calories, same great taste.

4/28/10 7:49:57 PM#37
Originally posted by jonrd463

Seamless open overworld, instanced major dungeons, with a few open dungeons thrown in for variety = my dream game.

This would be nice. AoC was a pain because the instances made the areas feel small. Plus, you came out of one zone and forgot something, well, you have to go through the loading screen again. One might think that this isn't a big deal but, the amount of times you go in and out of a zone does add up and it makes your gaming experience frustrating.

I hoped that Star Trek Online would ok to play with the use of instances but I failed to remember how Cryptic designed CoH/V. After awhile of going though tons zone loading screens you feel confined to a small area in the game.


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Joined: 4/08/10
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4/28/10 8:05:34 PM#38

A cool thing I would like to see Is a random instance maker ...where it always different everytime you enter. it seems like a new place evertime you enter ...we can only dream

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Future play: FFXIV,SW:TOR


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Joined: 12/16/08
Posts: 124

4/28/10 11:12:45 PM#39

WoW style instancing = fine

STO style instancing = wrong


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4/28/10 11:15:15 PM#40
Originally posted by ironlevi

WoW style instancing = fine

STO style instancing = wrong

Most can say any instancing is bad.



Instancing is bad because it removes players from the game world, breaks immersion, and is just plain lazy.


Just about every benefit of instancing can be achieved via good game design. Instancing is a crutch devs use so they don't have to worry about game design, they can just shuffle everyone into their own private little worlds. It's also easier on the servers. 


I HATE finding a cave and not being able to go into it cause I don't have a quest (LotRO) or entering a cave and NOBODY being in it, unless I invite them in. WTF? 

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