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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » the History of Dumbed Down MMOs

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  AutemOx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

 
OP  10/28/11 2:48:10 PM#1

I want you guys to check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6_Dq1Bw0Ss&feature=youtube_gdata

My below discussion starts at 14:50 of the video and is like 5-10 minutes.

It is a video of Raph Koster talking about MUDs and how communities tended to police themselves because they were small enough that everyone knows everyone and that would lead to less griefing.  When the graphical RPGs started coming up, the developers of these games had never worked with such large communities before, and found themselves shocked with how much 'misbehaving' there was in these games.  For instance:

In UO you could attack anyone.  You could build houses.  You could place objects on the ground.  There was player collision.  These are all things that have been removed, not necessarily because they are hard to implement (although they are) but because they are very difficult to police.  Koster gives the example of when players dropped thousands of pieces of furniture at the entrance of a city, leaving only one small entrance to and from the city.  They would then camp this entrance and kill anyone coming to and from the city.  This would have not been a problem in MUDs, so it was the first time developers ever faced this issue.

How did they solve it?  They increased realism to solve the problem.  They added the ability to destory and set fire to furniture.  This allowed players to set aflame to the furniture blocking their exit to the city and it made blocking the city gates much more difficult.

Koster then explains that this continued... Players would find ways to exploit the game and the devs would combat that.  But eventually they got sick of it, and instead of increasing realism of the virtual world to fix these problems things started going the other way:  They started removing features from the game.  For instance, the new solution to the problem of furniture blocking city gates would be to remove the ability to drop items on the ground.

So now we are left with MMOs that are more restricted.  Just because some devs decided it would be easier to not have features in a game at all.

Koster goes on to describe how MMOs have become action RPGs.  He jokes that the combat was his least favorite part of Dungeons and Dragons and 'not the reason why he loves RPGs'.

What do you guys think about the decision to remove realism to solve problems in game instead of increasing it?

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  AutemOx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

 
OP  10/28/11 2:50:31 PM#2

One of the other interesting things I got from the video was his discussion on how games are costing more and more to create.  He then describes the 'resetting' of this which happens occasionally, like when a new technology/indie platform is released (ie flash, iphone, facebook).  Although he does not claim it directly, Koster alludes to the worry that facebook and smartphones will be the last indie platform.  Even they have been moving towards costing a lot of $$ to develop, and theres no new technology for indie devs on the horizon.

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  Robsolf

Hard Core Member

Joined: 4/21/06
Posts: 4047

Let go of my ears, I know what I'm doing!

10/28/11 3:28:04 PM#3

Not sure the thread topic matches the actual content.  When most people think of "dumbed down" MMO's they think of easier mobs, less traveling, etc., as opposed to collision and drop rules, etc.  But that's just MO.

Reminds me of an earlier thread following a blogger who thinks devs should start catering to PK'ers, again.


http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/330001

 

Or rather, a debate response to it.

Anonymity and lack of consequences work really well together to bring out the worst in people.  Some folks... alot of folks, really, see that as a golden opportunity to be the biggest D-bag they can be.  Whenever you consider adding a feature to a game, a developer has to assume, "how would a complete PoS possibly use this to ruin the game for other players?"  And so they have to either chuck the idea altogether, or tighen everything up so you have a heavily controlled experience.

The furniture thing... I remember people used to do that with houses in SWG.  You could basically box people in by dropping houses down in a square around them.  After which, the house droppers would either gang up on them from inside the box, or drop from outside and just leave them there.  SWG had no teleport, so you either had to call CS, or you'd have to know there's a suicide command you'd have to use in order for you to get out.

Some people are just A-holes.  Go to any car stereo shop, observe the many knobless display decks and kicked in speakers and see for yourself.  They'll go out of their way to screw someone else despite it having no benefit to them, whatsoever.  If they'll do it at the risk of getting busted for vandalism, why WOULDn'T they do it in a place where no one knows who they are, and there is 0 risk of consequences?

  Creslin321

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/27/09
Posts: 5424

10/28/11 3:55:29 PM#4
Originally posted by Robsolf

Not sure the thread topic matches the actual content.  When most people think of "dumbed down" MMO's they think of easier mobs, less traveling, etc., as opposed to collision and drop rules, etc.  But that's just MO.

Reminds me of an earlier thread following a blogger who thinks devs should start catering to PK'ers, again.


http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/330001

 

Or rather, a debate response to it.

Anonymity and lack of consequences work really well together to bring out the worst in people.  Some folks... alot of folks, really, see that as a golden opportunity to be the biggest D-bag they can be.  Whenever you consider adding a feature to a game, a developer has to assume, "how would a complete PoS possibly use this to ruin the game for other players?"  And so they have to either chuck the idea altogether, or tighen everything up so you have a heavily controlled experience.

The furniture thing... I remember people used to do that with houses in SWG.  You could basically box people in by dropping houses down in a square around them.  After which, the house droppers would either gang up on them from inside the box, or drop from outside and just leave them there.  SWG had no teleport, so you either had to call CS, or you'd have to know there's a suicide command you'd have to use in order for you to get out.

Some people are just A-holes.  Go to any car stereo shop, observe the many knobless display decks and kicked in speakers and see for yourself.  They'll go out of their way to screw someone else despite it having no benefit to them, whatsoever.  If they'll do it at the risk of getting busted for vandalism, why WOULDn'T they do it in a place where no one knows who they are, and there is 0 risk of consequences?

Conscience?  Knowing the difference between right and wrong?

I don't know...I'm not a religious person, but having played UO and Darkfall I understand why religion can be a good thing.  Religion used to keep immoral people in check because they thought that some deity was always watching them so they would behave...apparently they are incapable of policing themselves so they need that.

Maybe we need to bring religion back.

Are you team Azeroth, team Tyria, or team Jacob?

  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1180

10/28/11 4:04:18 PM#5

....Because no one did bad things in the past?

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

  VirusDancer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/04
Posts: 3684

Heroes are about character - not gear.

10/28/11 4:16:58 PM#6

Realism is lost the moment you login.

How so?

It is a MMO...where there may be a massive amount of players, but not necessarily a massive amount of space.  It is the massive number of "heroes" that exist in what has basically become a simultaneous RPG/co-opRPG.

What do I mean here?

You could remove every other player in the game (perhaps leave enough friends to fill out a party), and tada - the world is pretty much scaled to accomodate that.  For the most part, the worlds are scaled as if they were in a single player game.

Now add 10 more people.  Add 100 more people.  Add 1000 more people.  The world is the same world that was designed for that single person or that group of friends playing together.  It is crowded now though, eh?

While all of these different people may not be doing the exact same thing at the same time, generally speaking they are all on the same "path" - on the same "rails" - that the other players are.  Thus my calling it a simultaneous RPG/co-opRPG.

Why do so many people complain that it is barren outside of cities then?

That is often because they have joined the game later, and the majority of their fellow residents are participating in the game lobby nature of the game at that point.  They generally have no reason to return to those areas.

So much as you stated they said early on about the MUD devs never having worked with such large communities before - you can look at most MMORPGs and see that - well, they're still not really designing the games for such large communities.  Imagine the layouts of the cities had they actually been designed to accomodate hundreds if not thousands of people?  Would issues such as collision have arose?

This is just one example where I feel the developers are trying to blame the players... for an issue that is obviously on the devs side.

I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  bezado

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/04
Posts: 1143

*WARNING*
Objects in mirror are closer to Trolls than they appear.

10/28/11 4:17:50 PM#7


Originally posted by Creslin321


Originally posted by Robsolf
Not sure the thread topic matches the actual content.  When most people think of "dumbed down" MMO's they think of easier mobs, less traveling, etc., as opposed to collision and drop rules, etc.  But that's just MO.
Reminds me of an earlier thread following a blogger who thinks devs should start catering to PK'ers, again.

http://www.mmorpg.com/discussion2.cfm/thread/330001
 
Or rather, a debate response to it.
Anonymity and lack of consequences work really well together to bring out the worst in people.  Some folks... alot of folks, really, see that as a golden opportunity to be the biggest D-bag they can be.  Whenever you consider adding a feature to a game, a developer has to assume, "how would a complete PoS possibly use this to ruin the game for other players?"  And so they have to either chuck the idea altogether, or tighen everything up so you have a heavily controlled experience.
The furniture thing... I remember people used to do that with houses in SWG.  You could basically box people in by dropping houses down in a square around them.  After which, the house droppers would either gang up on them from inside the box, or drop from outside and just leave them there.  SWG had no teleport, so you either had to call CS, or you'd have to know there's a suicide command you'd have to use in order for you to get out.

Some people are just A-holes.  Go to any car stereo shop, observe the many knobless display decks and kicked in speakers and see for yourself.  They'll go out of their way to screw someone else despite it having no benefit to them, whatsoever.
  If they'll do it at the risk of getting busted for vandalism, why WOULDn'T they do it in a place where no one knows who they are, and there is 0 risk of consequences?



Conscience?  Knowing the difference between right and wrong?
I don't know...I'm not a religious person, but having played UO and Darkfall I understand why religion can be a good thing.  Religion used to keep immoral people in check because they thought that some deity was always watching them so they would behave...apparently they are incapable of policing themselves so they need that.
Maybe we need to bring religion back.

This. I been saying the same thing for years and ideals about it. The reason why was to keep people in check and keep them scared. Why do you think all people in power during these times were so open about religion and to throw it on people, it was to keep the people in control so that the leaders could govern their people easier without having any incidences and to be able to collect taxes easier.

  Grahor

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/08/11
Posts: 854

10/28/11 6:09:36 PM#8
Originally posted by Creslin321

I don't know...I'm not a religious person, but having played UO and Darkfall I understand why religion can be a good thing.  Religion used to keep immoral people in check because they thought that some deity was always watching them so they would behave...apparently they are incapable of policing themselves so they need that.

Maybe we need to bring religion back.

The Lord Commandeth me to grief you forever and ever and ever till the end of time.

 

I'm going to hunt you down religiously in all and every game you play and spend my life griefing you.

 

Such is Lord's will.

  Isasis

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/09/05
Posts: 420

10/28/11 10:06:15 PM#9

From what I got out of it, griefers ruined MMOs...so now we have what we got.

 

(edit)

 

People like the poster above me ^^...though it sounds like he is more kidding, there are people that did that in MMOs until the person logged out. And if they came on again, they would find them and do it again.

My youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheExplorium

MMORPG.com is like 4chan, but for gamers.

WoW already does WoW good.

PvPers that gank newbies, are carebears. They don't want a challenge (like a carebear), they just want easy mode (like a carebear) and a no challenge combat (like a carebear).

  AlBQuirky

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 1/24/05
Posts: 3469

Tomorrow's just a future yesterday...

11/01/11 7:33:25 PM#10


Originally posted by wormywyrm
Koster goes on to describe how MMOs have become action RPGs.  He jokes that the combat was his least favorite part of Dungeons and Dragons and 'not the reason why he loves RPGs'.


Exactly! I'd rather figure out how to avoid combat and accomplish my goal than wade on through, blades blazing. Sometimes, though, combat is fun and is a good side activity. It is, for me, definitely NOT the end-all, be-all for game enjoyment.


What do you guys think about the decision to remove realism to solve problems in game instead of increasing it?

I think it is sad, but the griefers are the lowest common denominator to be dealt with. I agree with the developer's choice to "dumb down". Why spend untold amounts of time on a small percentage of the populace who will find ways around any "fixes" they come up with? Games could be so much more fun if people were not so immature. Alas, there is no way of policing these people. They, like cockroaches, find ways around any barriers to continue their imbecilic attacks on other people trying to enjoy a game.

- Al

Personally the only modern MMORPG trend that annoys me is the idea that MMOs need to be designed in a way to attract people who don't actually like MMOs. Which to me makes about as much sense as someone trying to figure out a way to get vegetarians to eat at their steakhouse.
- FARGIN_WAR

  ElderRat

Novice Member

Joined: 9/30/10
Posts: 909

11/01/11 7:43:00 PM#11
Originally posted by wormywyrm

Snip...

Koster then explains that this continued... Players would find ways to exploit the game and the devs would combat that.  But eventually they got sick of it, and instead of increasing realism of the virtual world to fix these problems things started going the other way:  They started removing features from the game.  For instance, the new solution to the problem of furniture blocking city gates would be to remove the ability to drop items on the ground.

So now we are left with MMOs that are more restricted.  Just because some devs decided it would be easier to not have features in a game at all.

snip...

Ok then Just because some Devs decided?   Do not blame the Devs, blame the people who always have to cheat(use exploits, same thing as cheating).  The cheating came first, the Devs responded to that.  Blame the cheaters.

 

Currently bored with MMO's.

  Cik_Asalin

Novice Member

Joined: 8/29/04
Posts: 3091

11/01/11 7:58:05 PM#12
Originally posted by wormywyrm

Koster goes on to describe how MMOs have become action RPGs.  He jokes that the combat was his least favorite part of Dungeons and Dragons and 'not the reason why he loves RPGs'.

What do you guys think about the decision to remove realism to solve problems in game instead of increasing it?

Very insightful.  He worked with the man that coined the word "MMORPG", Richard Garriott with Ultima Online.  His intellectual honesty about what mmorpgs have de-volved into is refreshing. 

 

The decision to remove realism was flawed, as it turned what could have been better developed to balance the organic with the inorgaic.  But in all honesty, we are left with these so-called mmorpg's being more of ARPG and CORPG than MMORPG.

 

For example, as I look at SW:TOR, I am anticipating it to be an entertaining ARPG or CORPG, but as with most of its' predecesors in this same genre, a mmorpg it is not.

  idgarad

Novice Member

Joined: 7/22/09
Posts: 175

11/01/11 8:11:59 PM#13

I think a lot of you missed something in the MUD \ Post-MUD era. A lot, and I mean a LOT of MUDs were invite only. You could apply, but you might not get in. Some of the biggest MUDs still around (200+ players) are invite only, they don't even advertise anymore on Mud Connector.

 

Here is a solution but a hell of a gamble.

 

Start a shard for your MMO that is invite only. Give out 100 accounts.

 

Each account has 1000 reputation points and 5 invites.

If anyone a player invited gets banned or suspended the person inviting them losses 200 points. The person getting banned loses 500 points. Anyone gets to 0 and that person (not account, person) is banned from that shard permanently.

Each player gets 5 and only 5 invites.

 

Now let us see how that community evolves. I'd gamble it would be a vast improvement for those playing on that shard, when it comes to the people they play with.

(Mechanics taken from a Rom MUD from back in 93-94ish based on of all things Dune)

  Distopia

Drifter

Joined: 11/22/05
Posts: 15957

"what a boring life, HATING everything" -Gorilla Biscuits

11/01/11 8:18:22 PM#14

 It's funny to me because I've said a lot of this stuff over the years, and I always get the same type of "you're crazy" "it's all the devs fault, player tendancy has nothing to do with it"...in reply..

For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson

It is a sign of a defeated man, to attack at ones character in the face of logic and reason- Me

  AutemOx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

 
OP  11/04/11 2:26:36 AM#15
Originally posted by idgarad

I think a lot of you missed something in the MUD \ Post-MUD era. A lot, and I mean a LOT of MUDs were invite only. You could apply, but you might not get in. Some of the biggest MUDs still around (200+ players) are invite only, they don't even advertise anymore on Mud Connector.

 

Here is a solution but a hell of a gamble.

 

Start a shard for your MMO that is invite only. Give out 100 accounts.

 

Each account has 1000 reputation points and 5 invites.

If anyone a player invited gets banned or suspended the person inviting them losses 200 points. The person getting banned loses 500 points. Anyone gets to 0 and that person (not account, person) is banned from that shard permanently.

Each player gets 5 and only 5 invites.

 

Now let us see how that community evolves. I'd gamble it would be a vast improvement for those playing on that shard, when it comes to the people they play with.

(Mechanics taken from a Rom MUD from back in 93-94ish based on of all things Dune)

I actually think this is a great idea.  I would start reputation at 0 and allow it to become negative, however.  And there could always be additional mechanics to modify your rep as the game expands.

I may do that for my next project; I run several small online flash games.  lysle.net

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  VirusDancer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/18/04
Posts: 3684

Heroes are about character - not gear.

11/04/11 2:35:17 AM#16
Originally posted by wormywyrm
Originally posted by idgarad

I think a lot of you missed something in the MUD \ Post-MUD era. A lot, and I mean a LOT of MUDs were invite only. You could apply, but you might not get in. Some of the biggest MUDs still around (200+ players) are invite only, they don't even advertise anymore on Mud Connector.

 

Here is a solution but a hell of a gamble.

 

Start a shard for your MMO that is invite only. Give out 100 accounts.

 

Each account has 1000 reputation points and 5 invites.

If anyone a player invited gets banned or suspended the person inviting them losses 200 points. The person getting banned loses 500 points. Anyone gets to 0 and that person (not account, person) is banned from that shard permanently.

Each player gets 5 and only 5 invites.

 

Now let us see how that community evolves. I'd gamble it would be a vast improvement for those playing on that shard, when it comes to the people they play with.

(Mechanics taken from a Rom MUD from back in 93-94ish based on of all things Dune)

I actually think this is a great idea.  I would start reputation at 0 and allow it to become negative, however.  And there could always be additional mechanics to modify your rep as the game expands.

I may do that for my next project; I run several small online flash games.  lysle.net

Unfortunately though, like any system that allows players a say in the matter - it can be subject to griefing.

Have you ever PUGged as DPS in a 5 man where the tank or the healer was being an ass?  Did you grin and bear it, or say something - even politely - only to find yourself back in town?

Did you ever join a basketball game or a football game as a kid - only to find yourself out of the game, because of a clique playing?

Perhaps I have a low opinion of the species, eh?  Jaded?  Likely...lol.

I miss the MMORPG genre. Will a developer ever make one again?

Explorer: 87%, Killer: 67%, Achiever: 27%, Socializer: 20%

  Adamantine

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/07/08
Posts: 3394

War is not the ultima ratio, but the ultima irratio - Willy Brandt

11/04/11 5:15:12 AM#17
Originally posted by Creslin321

Conscience?  Knowing the difference between right and wrong?

I don't know...I'm not a religious person, but having played UO and Darkfall I understand why religion can be a good thing.  Religion used to keep immoral people in check because they thought that some deity was always watching them so they would behave...apparently they are incapable of policing themselves so they need that.

Maybe we need to bring religion back.

LOL it never was gone.

And its always funny when atheists want to use religion for their very mundane ends.

  AutemOx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

 
OP  11/04/11 5:17:31 AM#18

Virus, how would the griefing occur?

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  AutemOx

Novice Member

Joined: 11/01/04
Posts: 1719

 
OP  11/04/11 5:22:04 AM#19

And I would appreciate it if the discussion on religion stops before the thread ends up getting locked.

Play as your fav retro characters: cnd-online.net. My site: www.lysle.net. Blog: creatingaworld.blogspot.com.

  Naqaj

Novice Member

Joined: 7/24/09
Posts: 1681

11/04/11 5:54:45 AM#20
please ignore, off-topic
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