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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » The Coming Twilight of MMOs?

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  User Deleted
 
OP  10/04/12 10:42:37 PM#1

Read an interesting paper by a guy in the gaming industry. He specifically specializes in MMOs - especially how in-game economies work (or more usually don't) as well as the problems MMOs currently have these days with retaining players past a few months beyond a small, dedicated fandom.

 

Anyway what he said had me wondering if within the next 3-4 years we will enter a period where no more Western dev'd MMOs will be made and it will only be ports/localizations of Asian MMOs. He specifically mentioned 2011 investor numbers in games.

 

Here was the 2011 industry break down for investing in new game IPs for various platforms.

 

  • 57% of all investor money went into social networking games (ex: Facebook, etc)
  • 30% went into mobile games (cellphones, tablet)
  • the remainder was divided up among everything else - traditional console games and traditional style MMOs
  • MMOs post-2004 (outside a handful) have a troubled history with the subscription model of supporting the games made.
 
Basically MMOs and traditional single-player/co-op PC/Console games are fighting for the remaining scraps of investor dollars (13%) that are left over from the other two categories for anything new. Current stuff in development won't be affected but anything actually NEW (as in the idea was being pitched to investors in 2011/2012 for the first time) is fighting over that remaining 13%.
 
 
I wonder if MMO fans post 2014 are in for a long draught of new MMO IPs (assuming if what he states is true). If it is - and we are in for a long draught - are there any current western-dev'd MMOs you would reconsider playing? He doesn't mention Asian MMOs in his article and I'm assuming Asian MMOs during this "draught" would continue to be ported/translated into Western markets.
 
 
Here's a link to the original article. It's a good, short read.
 
 
Here's another one he wrote posted to Gamasutra on the errors he saw made in SWTOR. Both this article and the comments by game developers (and his replies to them) are also worth checking out.
  smh_alot

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/10/12
Posts: 990

10/04/12 10:54:02 PM#2
I didn't read the articles - will do so later - but hmm, I don't know. Personally, I think we'll see a new dawn for MMO's after years of 'dark ages' in a sense.

Sure, maybe we won't see such huge populations anymore as we've seen with WoW for 1 MMORPG. But I'd say that the top segment of the MMO market since this year and onwards looks a lot healthier and more diverse and varied than it did in the years before.

I mean, look at what we have: SWTOR, WoW with MoP, Rift with Storm Legion that triples the worldsize in Rift and is a huge expansion in other ways too, TSW, GW2, and not that far off, a Planetside 2 and Firefall. Compare that with how it was in the top segment a year ago, or the years before that. Whether you like the mentioned MMO's or not, I see a lot more diversity and variety in flavors and mechanics than the year(s) before.

And it doesn't end with that: in the upcoming few years, we can expect an ArcheAge, Neverwinter, World of Darkness, Defiance, EQ Next and Undead Labs' zombie MMO among others. That's even more added diversity in the top (AAA) segment of MMO's.


So I'm inclined to disagree, I think the future looks better than we've had the past couple of years :-)
  Torluk

Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/09
Posts: 166

10/04/12 11:03:34 PM#3
Originally posted by SereneBlue
  • 57% of all investor money went into social networking games (ex: Facebook, etc)
  • 30% went into mobile games (cellphones, tablet)
  • the remainder was divided up among everything else - traditional console games and traditional style MMOs
  • MMOs post-2004 (outside a handful) have a troubled history with the subscription model of supporting the games made.
 

Just taken on its own this could be a bit misleading.  I'm not doubting his percentages or saying his conclusions are wrong but in order for this to be meaningful we would need to take into account how the total money available today compares to how much there was in the past.  I mean it is entirely possible that the high percentages being invested in social and mobile games is new money that has been made available specifically to invest in these newer, growing areas because they are seen as much better investments.

Perhaps if he had compared the totals of how much was invested in MMOs in 2011 compared to say 2006/7/8 when the genre seemed to be ripe for exploitation then we might be able to make some better guesses as to how things will unfold in the forseeable future.

  Presbytier

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/12/10
Posts: 426

10/04/12 11:07:00 PM#4
I have never met a community of gamers more morbidly obsessed with an unfounded belief in their own demise than MMORPG players. I mean seriously I don't get the general doom and gloom MMORPG players posses; sometimes that alon makes me want to quit playing MMORPGs.

"Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game."-Guybrush Threepwood
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."-Hunter S. Thompson

  DavisFlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

10/04/12 11:10:21 PM#5

The twilight of MMOs was 2004-now.

Or, a better name, the Dark Ages, where past knowledge is lost, innovation dies, and no one is really that happy.

We're starting to see a bit of a return to MMOs of former glory, mostly through indie developers, but a few from AAA devs like Arenanet. No one has quite matched the Golden Age MMOs just yet, but there's legitimate hope that WoW clones might be dead.

  DavisFlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

10/04/12 11:15:08 PM#6
Originally posted by Presbytier
I have never met a community of gamers more morbidly obsessed with an unfounded belief in their own demise than MMORPG players. I mean seriously I don't get the general doom and gloom MMORPG players posses; sometimes that alon makes me want to quit playing MMORPGs.

In no other genre has there been such a sharp and sudden decline in the quality of products. Not only that, but out of all the genres, MMORPGs had the most potential to do amazing mind blowing things. And they did, at first. Then after 2004 that all stopped.

  Zetsuei

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/21/03
Posts: 250

The one and only power

10/04/12 11:22:27 PM#7
Originally posted by DavisFlight

The twilight of MMOs was 2004-now.

Or, a better name, the Dark Ages, where past knowledge is lost, innovation dies, and no one is really that happy.

We're starting to see a bit of a return to MMOs of former glory, mostly through indie developers, but a few from AAA devs like Arenanet. No one has quite matched the Golden Age MMOs just yet, but there's legitimate hope that WoW clones might be dead.

I agree with this.

GW2 is hopefully just the start of MMOs finally beginning to grow and innovate themselves. I'm hoping ArcheAge can bring new things to the genre. It certainly does look very promising thus far. Wildstar and Blizzards Titan are also wild cards. They have the potential to completely shock the MMO world.  Let us hope these games advance the genre rather than setting it back. The MMORPG genre has been stagnant for so long people are used to what they get, even if its the same old thing.

  Presbytier

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/12/10
Posts: 426

10/04/12 11:23:30 PM#8
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
I have never met a community of gamers more morbidly obsessed with an unfounded belief in their own demise than MMORPG players. I mean seriously I don't get the general doom and gloom MMORPG players posses; sometimes that alon makes me want to quit playing MMORPGs.

In no other genre has there been such a sharp and sudden decline in the quality of products. Not only that, but out of all the genres, MMORPGs had the most potential to do amazing mind blowing things. And they did, at first. Then after 2004 that all stopped.

Their has not been a sharp decline in quality, The quality is on par with other genres of gaming. There are a great deal of crap out there, but that is not unique to MMOs. What is unique is the ever increasing snobbery and self entitlemnt of the player base. i believe this is do to the intrensic nature of the internet and the fact that MMOs are directly connected with it. Lets face it internet anonimity is the real issue if people had to face the consequances of the things they said then much of the attitude and problems with the internet and in turn MMos would go away.What is really amazing is the complete stupidity and idiocy(yes i actually said some people are stupid) people demonstrate in regards to WoW and many current MMOs. not everyone apes WoW and even games that play similarly are different enough to not be WoW clones. The WoW clones line is more of a myth than fact; WoW plays very similarly to early MMOs and what we see is just a continued evolution of the genres as a whole.

"Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game."-Guybrush Threepwood
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."-Hunter S. Thompson

  User Deleted
 
OP  10/04/12 11:31:37 PM#9
Originally posted by Zetsuei
Originally posted by DavisFlight

The twilight of MMOs was 2004-now.

Or, a better name, the Dark Ages, where past knowledge is lost, innovation dies, and no one is really that happy.

We're starting to see a bit of a return to MMOs of former glory, mostly through indie developers, but a few from AAA devs like Arenanet. No one has quite matched the Golden Age MMOs just yet, but there's legitimate hope that WoW clones might be dead.

I agree with this.

GW2 is hopefully just the start of MMOs finally beginning to grow and innovate themselves. I'm hoping ArcheAge can bring new things to the genre. It certainly does look very promising thus far. Wildstar and Blizzards Titan are also wild cards. They have the potential to completely shock the MMO world.  Let us hope these games advance the genre rather than setting it back. The MMORPG genre has been stagnant for so long people are used to what they get, even if its the same old thing.

 

This may be true but it sidesteps the point this Game Industry guy was making. The games all mentioned by other posters in this thread are already in development. They are not threatened at all.

He said it's the NEW IPs..the ones that only exist as a dream in some development teams mind right now that are finding their oxygen supply (investment dollars) rapidly growing thinner. The trend that INVESTORS are making (allocating their money on which products/categories, etc they think shows upward growth) is trending away from MMOs and traditional console games and toward cellphone games and facebook type games.

 

 

Edit:

 

Combine the above with the problems he outlines

 

1. Western publishers can't seem to find a way to dev properly to monetize their games at a long term sustainable level without committing errors in game design that incentivize rushing to level cap or monetization designs that piss off the very people they are trying to please with their products. So you see the Locust player effect which rapidly makes investors also disincentivized to invest in MMOs other than as smaller, throw-away games (aka very similar to the way many Asian grinders are currently made that never get localized in the West). Look at how TSW management has said they're going to move to smaller online games. They had to do that to continue to signal to investors they had "learned from their mistake" in over-estimating the demand for their game (poor ROI estimate).

 

2. Eastern devs don't do well either in this regard because the culture in Asian games is pro-P2W (he calls it "buying game objectives" and the moment you do that it ceases to be a game and instead becomes a stare-down of who has the guts to follow through with the biggest bet - i.e. it's a bidding war, not a game).

  DavisFlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

10/04/12 11:36:12 PM#10
Originally posted by Presbytier
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
I have never met a community of gamers more morbidly obsessed with an unfounded belief in their own demise than MMORPG players. I mean seriously I don't get the general doom and gloom MMORPG players posses; sometimes that alon makes me want to quit playing MMORPGs.

In no other genre has there been such a sharp and sudden decline in the quality of products. Not only that, but out of all the genres, MMORPGs had the most potential to do amazing mind blowing things. And they did, at first. Then after 2004 that all stopped.

Their has not been a sharp decline in quality Oh by god yes there has The quality is on par with other genres of gaming. There are a great deal of crap out there, but that is not unique to MMOs. No, what's unique to MMOs is when 100% of the AAA titles are all so identical to eachother that its hard to tell them apart. What is unique is the ever increasing snobbery and self entitlemnt of the player base. Yeah people tend to get upset when developers continuously make really bad games. i believe this is do to the intrensic nature of the internet and the fact that MMOs are directly connected with it. I think it has to do with the fact that we've had TWO MMORPG releases from AAA companies in the last 8 years that weren't shot for shot clones of WoW. TWO.  Lets face it internet anonimity is the real issue if people had to face the consequances of the things they said then much of the attitude and problems with the internet and in turn MMos would go away.What is really amazing is the complete stupidity and idiocy(yes i actually said some people are stupid) people demonstrate in regards to WoW and many current MMOs. Well when you insult WOW you kind of insult them all considering how similar they are. not everyone apes WoW and even games that play similarly are different enough to not be WoW clones Ha, yeah I bet AoC, LotRO, and Rift aren't WoW clones with one gimmick thumb tacked on, right? . The WoW clones line is more of a myth than fact Incorrect.; WoW plays very similarly to early MMOs Holy shit you couldn't be more wrong. WoW is the antithesis of early MMOs. Old MMos were feature rich, socially oriented virtual worlds with immersion as one of their focuses. WoW is a linear, singleplayer oriented, antisocial, feature lite online game. It doesn't even have housing, after 7 years. and what we see is just a continued evolution of the genres as a whole.

Evolution would be nice. But devolution is more accurate.

 

As for players blowing through content... all devs need to do is stop trying to make their MMOs singleplayer games and start making dynamic virtual world player generated experiences again. That's what kept golden age MMOs growing year after year.

  Presbytier

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/12/10
Posts: 426

10/04/12 11:43:41 PM#11
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
I have never met a community of gamers more morbidly obsessed with an unfounded belief in their own demise than MMORPG players. I mean seriously I don't get the general doom and gloom MMORPG players posses; sometimes that alon makes me want to quit playing MMORPGs.

In no other genre has there been such a sharp and sudden decline in the quality of products. Not only that, but out of all the genres, MMORPGs had the most potential to do amazing mind blowing things. And they did, at first. Then after 2004 that all stopped.

Their has not been a sharp decline in quality Oh by god yes there has The quality is on par with other genres of gaming. There are a great deal of crap out there, but that is not unique to MMOs. No, what's unique to MMOs is when 100% of the AAA titles are all so identical to eachother that its hard to tell them apart. What is unique is the ever increasing snobbery and self entitlemnt of the player base. Yeah people tend to get upset when developers continuously make really bad games. i believe this is do to the intrensic nature of the internet and the fact that MMOs are directly connected with it. I think it has to do with the fact that we've had TWO MMORPG releases from AAA companies in the last 8 years that weren't shot for shot clones of WoW. TWO.  Lets face it internet anonimity is the real issue if people had to face the consequances of the things they said then much of the attitude and problems with the internet and in turn MMos would go away.What is really amazing is the complete stupidity and idiocy(yes i actually said some people are stupid) people demonstrate in regards to WoW and many current MMOs. Well when you insult WOW you kind of insult them all considering how similar they are. not everyone apes WoW and even games that play similarly are different enough to not be WoW clones Ha, yeah I bet AoC, LotRO, and Rift aren't WoW clones with one gimmick thumb tacked on, right? . The WoW clones line is more of a myth than fact Incorrect.; WoW plays very similarly to early MMOs Holy shit you couldn't be more wrong. WoW is the antithesis of early MMOs. and what we see is just a continued evolution of the genres as a whole.

Evolution would be nice. But devolution is more accurate.

And this a great example of someone simply incapable of making an argument. i9nstead of ingaging my points you simply stuck your head in the air and declared "nanana boo boo you are wrong and I am right". I mean come on try to show how WoW is not similar to EQ. What this really is is you your one specific ideal MMO has never been released so you get in a tizzy every time a new one comes out. other than really Rift and maybe even SW:TOR there have not been that many WoW clones(and even those games have enought to destinguish them from WoW). So please show me the WoW clones, actually explain how they clone WoW, then try to explain how that is any different from how WoW built off of EQ or any earlier MMOs.

"Never pay more than 20 bucks for a computer game."-Guybrush Threepwood
"I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me."-Hunter S. Thompson

  DavisFlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

10/05/12 12:04:39 AM#12
Originally posted by Presbytier
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
I have never met a community of gamers more morbidly obsessed with an unfounded belief in their own demise than MMORPG players. I mean seriously I don't get the general doom and gloom MMORPG players posses; sometimes that alon makes me want to quit playing MMORPGs.

In no other genre has there been such a sharp and sudden decline in the quality of products. Not only that, but out of all the genres, MMORPGs had the most potential to do amazing mind blowing things. And they did, at first. Then after 2004 that all stopped.

Their has not been a sharp decline in quality Oh by god yes there has The quality is on par with other genres of gaming. There are a great deal of crap out there, but that is not unique to MMOs. No, what's unique to MMOs is when 100% of the AAA titles are all so identical to eachother that its hard to tell them apart. What is unique is the ever increasing snobbery and self entitlemnt of the player base. Yeah people tend to get upset when developers continuously make really bad games. i believe this is do to the intrensic nature of the internet and the fact that MMOs are directly connected with it. I think it has to do with the fact that we've had TWO MMORPG releases from AAA companies in the last 8 years that weren't shot for shot clones of WoW. TWO.  Lets face it internet anonimity is the real issue if people had to face the consequances of the things they said then much of the attitude and problems with the internet and in turn MMos would go away.What is really amazing is the complete stupidity and idiocy(yes i actually said some people are stupid) people demonstrate in regards to WoW and many current MMOs. Well when you insult WOW you kind of insult them all considering how similar they are. not everyone apes WoW and even games that play similarly are different enough to not be WoW clones Ha, yeah I bet AoC, LotRO, and Rift aren't WoW clones with one gimmick thumb tacked on, right? . The WoW clones line is more of a myth than fact Incorrect.; WoW plays very similarly to early MMOs Holy shit you couldn't be more wrong. WoW is the antithesis of early MMOs. and what we see is just a continued evolution of the genres as a whole.

Evolution would be nice. But devolution is more accurate.

And this a great example of someone simply incapable of making an argument. i9nstead of ingaging my points you simply stuck your head in the air and declared "nanana boo boo you are wrong and I am right". I mean come on try to show how WoW is not similar to EQ. I did, you didn't quote it. WoW was very clearly based on EQ but the two had entirely different philosophies. What's more, EQ wasn't the only pre WoW MMO.  What this really is is you your one specific ideal MMO has never been released It has, actually. so you get in a tizzy every time a new one comes out. other than really Rift and maybe even SW:TOR there have not been that many WoW clones You're forgetting WAR's PvE, LotRO, and AoC, aren't you? (and even those games have enought to destinguish them from WoW haha, no not really. Rifts had the event system from Tabula Rasa stapled onto their game, but that's about it. It may seem like enough to you, but those of us who are used to how vastly different each and every pre WoW MMO was from one another, it amounts to almost nothing. Hell, Rift even has the same UI and graphics as WoW. ). So please show me the WoW clones, actually explain how they clone WoW, then try to explain how that is any different from how WoW built off of EQ or any earlier MMOs.

All the MMOs I mention share the same class system (except Rift), the same type of gear grind, the same quest based leveling system, the same GUI, the same tiered raiding system, the same focus on instancing and singleplayer gameplay, the same lack of any kind of depth, same casual focus by putting in global auction houses, no death penalty, GPS auto maps that tell you how to do quests, sparkling objectives, !! over NPC heads... they're all cast from the same mold, and its very clear.

EQ had a similar class system to WoW (except all of EQ's classes had a TON of fluff abilities and player interdependent abilities) and WoW's raid system was based off EQ's raid system (both were terrible). That's about where the similarities end. EQ's world was without instances, focused on long long term leveling, group based content, shared content, player interdependency, immersion and player reliance over convenience, and each and every piece of the game just had more effort put into it. Quests in EQ involved actually typing and talking to the NPCs, there were little details in each system that didn't have to be there, more fluff in general. It feels like the difference between an adults house, and a house with a toddler in it, that has everything covered in safety gates and padded.

  Torluk

Novice Member

Joined: 10/15/09
Posts: 166

10/05/12 12:15:17 AM#13
Originally posted by SereneBlue

The trend that INVESTORS are making (allocating their money on which products/categories, etc they think shows upward growth) is trending away from MMOs and traditional console games and toward cellphone games and facebook type games.

But is that really the case?  Or is money that would never have been available to invest in MMORPGs anyway being invested in these other areas?  Both areas are video games but they are not like for like investment opportunities.

If the investors who are throwing money at social and mobile games wouldn't have invested in more traditional video games then it's not really a problem.  If it is a significant part of the pot that used to fund more traditional games then it would be concerning.

  Aeolron

Apprentice Member

Joined: 3/24/11
Posts: 664

Everyones a mmo vet these days :P

10/05/12 12:28:05 AM#14
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
I have never met a community of gamers more morbidly obsessed with an unfounded belief in their own demise than MMORPG players. I mean seriously I don't get the general doom and gloom MMORPG players posses; sometimes that alon makes me want to quit playing MMORPGs.

In no other genre has there been such a sharp and sudden decline in the quality of products. Not only that, but out of all the genres, MMORPGs had the most potential to do amazing mind blowing things. And they did, at first. Then after 2004 that all stopped.

Their has not been a sharp decline in quality Oh by god yes there has The quality is on par with other genres of gaming. There are a great deal of crap out there, but that is not unique to MMOs. No, what's unique to MMOs is when 100% of the AAA titles are all so identical to eachother that its hard to tell them apart. What is unique is the ever increasing snobbery and self entitlemnt of the player base. Yeah people tend to get upset when developers continuously make really bad games. i believe this is do to the intrensic nature of the internet and the fact that MMOs are directly connected with it. I think it has to do with the fact that we've had TWO MMORPG releases from AAA companies in the last 8 years that weren't shot for shot clones of WoW. TWO.  Lets face it internet anonimity is the real issue if people had to face the consequances of the things they said then much of the attitude and problems with the internet and in turn MMos would go away.What is really amazing is the complete stupidity and idiocy(yes i actually said some people are stupid) people demonstrate in regards to WoW and many current MMOs. Well when you insult WOW you kind of insult them all considering how similar they are. not everyone apes WoW and even games that play similarly are different enough to not be WoW clones Ha, yeah I bet AoC, LotRO, and Rift aren't WoW clones with one gimmick thumb tacked on, right? . The WoW clones line is more of a myth than fact Incorrect.; WoW plays very similarly to early MMOs Holy shit you couldn't be more wrong. WoW is the antithesis of early MMOs. and what we see is just a continued evolution of the genres as a whole.

Evolution would be nice. But devolution is more accurate.

And this a great example of someone simply incapable of making an argument. i9nstead of ingaging my points you simply stuck your head in the air and declared "nanana boo boo you are wrong and I am right". I mean come on try to show how WoW is not similar to EQ. I did, you didn't quote it. WoW was very clearly based on EQ but the two had entirely different philosophies. What's more, EQ wasn't the only pre WoW MMO.  What this really is is you your one specific ideal MMO has never been released It has, actually. so you get in a tizzy every time a new one comes out. other than really Rift and maybe even SW:TOR there have not been that many WoW clones You're forgetting WAR's PvE, LotRO, and AoC, aren't you? (and even those games have enought to destinguish them from WoW haha, no not really. Rifts had the event system from Tabula Rasa stapled onto their game, but that's about it. It may seem like enough to you, but those of us who are used to how vastly different each and every pre WoW MMO was from one another, it amounts to almost nothing. Hell, Rift even has the same UI and graphics as WoW. ). So please show me the WoW clones, actually explain how they clone WoW, then try to explain how that is any different from how WoW built off of EQ or any earlier MMOs.

All the MMOs I mention share the same class system (except Rift), the same type of gear grind, the same quest based leveling system, the same GUI, the same tiered raiding system, the same focus on instancing and singleplayer gameplay, the same lack of any kind of depth, same casual focus by putting in global auction houses, no death penalty, GPS auto maps that tell you how to do quests, sparkling objectives, !! over NPC heads... they're all cast from the same mold, and its very clear.

EQ had a similar class system to WoW (except all of EQ's classes had a TON of fluff abilities and player interdependent abilities) and WoW's raid system was based off EQ's raid system (both were terrible). That's about where the similarities end. EQ's world was without instances, focused on long long term leveling, group based content, shared content, player interdependency, immersion and player reliance over convenience, and each and every piece of the game just had more effort put into it. Quests in EQ involved actually typing and talking to the NPCs, there were little details in each system that didn't have to be there, more fluff in general. It feels like the difference between an adults house, and a house with a toddler in it, that has everything covered in safety gates and padded.

EverQuest Raid system was actualy alot different then from WoW, I know because I used to be a hardcore raider in EQ for many many years , and also raided in WoW , which was fun easier actualy and more relaxed then EverQuest raids.

Alhough I agree with most of what you are saying, Most of Verants EverQuest was copied like crazy ,and WoW came along took alot of the ideas and made it far far easier than EQ , thats where the issues lie, when we have games like WoW that requires almost zero effort to get that new weapon or piece of armor or hell even that level, all this causes issues with MMORPGS as a whole in he longevity department and why alot of players don't play for years but only months and weeks ,and why we have content nuts who burn through the content. Back in the day those same people would have quit along time ago because it actualy required effort , I hope that they bring back , harsh death penaties , takes alot longer to level up , and 85% of quests need to be done in groups ,and if people don't like that, fine go back to consoles because MMORPGS were meant for the Hardcore RPG fans of the day , sad really to see it so watered down it's beyond stupid.

  Arglebargle

Elite Member

Joined: 6/13/07
Posts: 1179

10/05/12 12:42:16 AM#15
Originally posted by DavisFlight

The twilight of MMOs was 2004-now.

Or, a better name, the Dark Ages, where past knowledge is lost, innovation dies, and no one is really that happy.

We're starting to see a bit of a return to MMOs of former glory, mostly through indie developers, but a few from AAA devs like Arenanet. No one has quite matched the Golden Age MMOs just yet, but there's legitimate hope that WoW clones might be dead.

Even accepting your Dark Ages argument, what came after it was the Renaissance, not a return to the Roman Empire's imperial glory.

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

  Pratt2112

Elite Member

Joined: 2/12/12
Posts: 1303

10/05/12 12:46:13 AM#16
Originally posted by Aeolron
 

EverQuest Raid system was actualy alot different then from WoW, I know because I used to be a hardcore raider in EQ for many many years , and also raided in WoW , which was fun easier actualy and more relaxed then EverQuest raids.

Alhough I agree with most of what you are saying, Most of Verants EverQuest was copied like crazy ,and WoW came along took alot of the ideas and made it far far easier than EQ , thats where the issues lie, when we have games like WoW that requires almost zero effort to get that new weapon or piece of armor or hell even that level, all this causes issues with MMORPGS as a whole in he longevity department and why alot of players don't play for years but only months and weeks ,and why we have content nuts who burn through the content. Back in the day those same people would have quit along time ago because it actualy required effort , I hope that they bring back , harsh death penaties , takes alot longer to level up , and 85% of quests need to be done in groups ,and if people don't like that, fine go back to consoles because MMORPGS were meant for the Hardcore RPG fans of the day , sad really to see it so watered down it's beyond stupid.

Yep. It can't be ignored or dismissed (though many try anyway with a variety of absurd assertions) that 1st, 2nd and some 3rd Gen MMORPGs captivated players and kept them eagerly logging in and playing for years, meanwhile, newer MMOs are lucky if they keep a player's attention for more than a few months before they're off to the next shiny new MMO.. and the next.. and then the next.. and then the next.

Ask someone playing Anarchy Online today how long they've been playing and it wouldn't be surprising for them to tell you they've been there since launch, even with several high level characters, they still haven't seen or done everything the game offers, and have no intention of leaving 'til they shut the servers off." The same can be said of various other old-school MMOs.

Conversely, ask someone playing a newer MMO of the last few years, and you wouldn't be surprised to hear them say  they've been playing about 2 months, have gotten several characters at level cap, have cleared all the current end-game content, gotten all their top tier gear, and are bored out of their skulls. That they're just playing their current MMO 'til "insert promising and likely over-hyped soon-to-be-launched MMO here", then they're gone, though they might come back for the next expansion.

It don't help that so many MMOs are now developed specifically for that kind of player. They're not trying to create massive, interactive and social worlds where players have to cooperate and interact and all that. They're not producing them for longevity anymore. Why should they? They know the turn around-rate of many players won't be more than a couple months anyway, especially not with how short and fast they make the progression curve in so many of them.

I can't remember the last time I did a true quest in the classical RPG sense.  If it was any time in the last 4 years, though, I'm sure there was a lot of arguing and complaining on forums for the developers to "make it easier and faster", because reading 3 paragraphs of text is just too much to ask of some people, their lives so full and busy that they absolutely can't afford to waste a second of it... while sitting on their ass in front of a computer, gaming.

The best thing that can happen to the genre is for the big developers to just get the hell out of it. Go back to their Facebook games and handheld games. Let the indie developers, or those with the understanding and appreciation of what a true adventure-driven MMORPG is like take the lead and start creating engaging, interesting, massive worlds again. The kind of MMORPGs that began the genre, with each developer trying to create their own unique setting, worlds and gameplay styles, rather than tryign to copy who ever was most popular at the moment.

Screw publishers and investors. They aren't needed anymore. Get the right project together, put together a good promo for it, and take it to kickstarter. There are people out there looking for an old-school MMORPG experience. We're definitely out there. With something like Kickstarter, perhaps we'll start to see more people not waiting for permission to make the game they (and we) want, and doing it with the support and investment of the players themselves. I couldn't think of a better, more pure scenario for gamers and game designers.

 

  User Deleted
 
OP  10/05/12 12:50:55 AM#17
Originally posted by Torluk
Originally posted by SereneBlue

The trend that INVESTORS are making (allocating their money on which products/categories, etc they think shows upward growth) is trending away from MMOs and traditional console games and toward cellphone games and facebook type games.

But is that really the case?  Or is money that would never have been available to invest in MMORPGs anyway being invested in these other areas?  Both areas are video games but they are not like for like investment opportunities.

If the investors who are throwing money at social and mobile games wouldn't have invested in more traditional video games then it's not really a problem.  If it is a significant part of the pot that used to fund more traditional games then it would be concerning.

 

He never directly answers your question but he definitely implies that it is a re-direction of capital rather than an avalanche of never-before-seen capital (although I'm sure he would admit at least some of it is new capital as well). But he doesn't make these arguments if it were only NEW capital. I mean...he even Titled his paper The Death of MMOs (a step I did not go so far as to make in my own headline in this thread).

 

Here's some quotes from some of his papers and comments. And mind you - he is an industry insider who is getting commentary from fellow industry insiders. At the very least he *isn't* like the folks here on this board (the typical gamer who doesn't help to create an MMO as his/her day job).

 

*******QUOTE***********

As a general rule, games are not made by designers, programmers, or artists. They are made by investors. All of the games in the social network space currently are either single player games, small group games, or multiplayer “pay to win”/ante games as I describe in my “How “Pay to Win” Works” paper. There are no massively multiplayer games at all in either the social network or mobile space currently. If investors keep making more of these, they won’t make any more [new] MMO’s.

 

In my eyes, the last successful MMO’s, World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EVE Online, and Final Fantasy XI, were all made almost ten years ago. EA’s recent Star Wars:The Old Republic is more of a massively single player game than an MMO, and would have been more successful if designed as such. The only two recent multiplayer products to have found a way around both the classic subscription and microtransaction monetization models are Wargaming.net’s World of Tanks and RIOT Games’ League of Legends products. What makes these games different from their competition is explained in my upcoming Supremacy Goods paper. These small scale match-based games are still not what I would describe as an MMO. The scale is too small and without an understanding of what makes these games successful, investors will not fund more complex versions of these. Even if they did, these two titles bypass the weaknesses in their models by not permitting most forms of social interaction. Thus they would not scale up in an elegant fashion.

 

For gamers, the social game revolution peaked some time around 2003-2004, and it has been downhill since then. As investors pull the plug on massively social games and move their resources to social network games (not the same thing), gamers are going to have to endure an extended “Dark Age” while investors unsuccessfully attempt to give us what we want. I would think that the ante game bubble will burst severely, and soon, and then perhaps a new Golden Age of social gaming will be born on the other side. The risk is that as investors catch fire during the bubble burst, they will reallocate their resources to other industries, thinking ours is “too high risk”.

*******

And some others:

 

******QUOTE**********

In about 2 years there will be very little market for ante games (My Note: this is his word for P2W monetization schemes in MMOs whether western or asian). The only people still playing them will be those that prefer ante games, which is at most 2% of the consumer base. The other problem here is that those that prefer ante games only like them when they are not populated with others that like ante games. If they are, they experience competition and uncertainty as to outcome, and the price of winning the ante game can be much higher. So if you lump all these people together into one game, it suddenly becomes a lot less attractive to them.

 

 

To a fellow game developer who commented on his paper:

 

*****QUOTE********

I am not sure I got your central theme, but you make a good point that those on good projects tend to get good skills. In theory they could make even better games on the next pass. There are two things preventing this:

1. There is this axiom, I forgot who came up with it, that people tend to be promoted until they are no longer qualified for the positions they are in. In this case, the best people will eventually get promoted to places where they are no longer skilled while at the same time their egos get so big (along with their paychecks) that they don’t want to admit the situation. I see this all the time.

2. These games I mentioned were all great games that were poorly monetized. This usually means that money that customers would have liked to spend on the product instead went to the grey market, which actually hurts the game directly in addition to representing lost revenue. This issue of lost monetization is what spurred my research in this field starting in 2005. Overcoming these systemic issues can lead to games that monetize two to four times as high, allowing much more elaborate products to be built."

********

*****QUOTE*******

I would suggest that the Peter Principle kicks in even faster than normal in this industry, especially when you realize that the average working life span of people in the IM industry is 3.5 years. Turnover is massive. The industry is growing so fast that there is a lot of opportunity for advancement, possibly too much. Getting your foot in the door is the hard part. I attribute the high turnover rate to people thinking that game development is “fun”, and not realizing just what a grind it is, especially for lower level employees. Hours are very long and there are always 50 people who would love your job. I intentionally skipped a lot of that by training myself with skills that did not exist in the industry but that I predicted would be in demand before their existence.

**************

And here was a surprisingly nice comment he made about GAMERS vis-a-vis Game Designers (of all things...)

 

****QUOTE*****

I should have been more clear before I started making generalizations about gamers. If you want to include ALL gamers, that is a huge slice of society now. But… that slice does not make games. Every interview I have walked into in the last year, and every game design session I have ever had in my entire life, has been all male. I am usually the oldest guy in the room (been a few exceptions). Most studios have VERY few women, and they are almost always in “grunt” (non decision-making) position.

This is our industry, and I don’t like it because it means we make games for the people making games, not the people playing games, which is two very different groups. The people making games, I would propose, have lower social skills than those playing them on average.

********

 

 

 

 

  DavisFlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

10/05/12 12:57:35 AM#18
Originally posted by Arglebargle
Originally posted by DavisFlight

The twilight of MMOs was 2004-now.

Or, a better name, the Dark Ages, where past knowledge is lost, innovation dies, and no one is really that happy.

We're starting to see a bit of a return to MMOs of former glory, mostly through indie developers, but a few from AAA devs like Arenanet. No one has quite matched the Golden Age MMOs just yet, but there's legitimate hope that WoW clones might be dead.

Even accepting your Dark Ages argument, what came after it was the Renaissance, not a return to the Roman Empire's imperial glory.

Correct, I don't think we'll ever make it back to the height of culture we had from 97-2004. There's just too many suits involved now.

  Rasputin

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/07/03
Posts: 618

10/05/12 12:58:21 AM#19

The economy is run by 99% sheep. These sheep do not have the ability to see where to go and therefore they follow the crowd.

That crowd is now going to Social Gaming, and they will blow a bubble bigger than MMOs did.

Once that bursts, things will look up again for MMOs.

 

I see nothing bad in MMOs falling out of mainstream again. It will only increase creativity.

  DavisFlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/25/12
Posts: 2594

10/05/12 12:59:30 AM#20
Originally posted by Aeolron
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Presbytier
I have never met a community of gamers more morbidly obsessed with an unfounded belief in their own demise than MMORPG players. I mean seriously I don't get the general doom and gloom MMORPG players posses; sometimes that alon makes me want to quit playing MMORPGs.

In no other genre has there been such a sharp and sudden decline in the quality of products. Not only that, but out of all the genres, MMORPGs had the most potential to do amazing mind blowing things. And they did, at first. Then after 2004 that all stopped.

Their has not been a sharp decline in quality Oh by god yes there has The quality is on par with other genres of gaming. There are a great deal of crap out there, but that is not unique to MMOs. No, what's unique to MMOs is when 100% of the AAA titles are all so identical to eachother that its hard to tell them apart. What is unique is the ever increasing snobbery and self entitlemnt of the player base. Yeah people tend to get upset when developers continuously make really bad games. i believe this is do to the intrensic nature of the internet and the fact that MMOs are directly connected with it. I think it has to do with the fact that we've had TWO MMORPG releases from AAA companies in the last 8 years that weren't shot for shot clones of WoW. TWO.  Lets face it internet anonimity is the real issue if people had to face the consequances of the things they said then much of the attitude and problems with the internet and in turn MMos would go away.What is really amazing is the complete stupidity and idiocy(yes i actually said some people are stupid) people demonstrate in regards to WoW and many current MMOs. Well when you insult WOW you kind of insult them all considering how similar they are. not everyone apes WoW and even games that play similarly are different enough to not be WoW clones Ha, yeah I bet AoC, LotRO, and Rift aren't WoW clones with one gimmick thumb tacked on, right? . The WoW clones line is more of a myth than fact Incorrect.; WoW plays very similarly to early MMOs Holy shit you couldn't be more wrong. WoW is the antithesis of early MMOs. and what we see is just a continued evolution of the genres as a whole.

Evolution would be nice. But devolution is more accurate.

And this a great example of someone simply incapable of making an argument. i9nstead of ingaging my points you simply stuck your head in the air and declared "nanana boo boo you are wrong and I am right". I mean come on try to show how WoW is not similar to EQ. I did, you didn't quote it. WoW was very clearly based on EQ but the two had entirely different philosophies. What's more, EQ wasn't the only pre WoW MMO.  What this really is is you your one specific ideal MMO has never been released It has, actually. so you get in a tizzy every time a new one comes out. other than really Rift and maybe even SW:TOR there have not been that many WoW clones You're forgetting WAR's PvE, LotRO, and AoC, aren't you? (and even those games have enought to destinguish them from WoW haha, no not really. Rifts had the event system from Tabula Rasa stapled onto their game, but that's about it. It may seem like enough to you, but those of us who are used to how vastly different each and every pre WoW MMO was from one another, it amounts to almost nothing. Hell, Rift even has the same UI and graphics as WoW. ). So please show me the WoW clones, actually explain how they clone WoW, then try to explain how that is any different from how WoW built off of EQ or any earlier MMOs.

All the MMOs I mention share the same class system (except Rift), the same type of gear grind, the same quest based leveling system, the same GUI, the same tiered raiding system, the same focus on instancing and singleplayer gameplay, the same lack of any kind of depth, same casual focus by putting in global auction houses, no death penalty, GPS auto maps that tell you how to do quests, sparkling objectives, !! over NPC heads... they're all cast from the same mold, and its very clear.

EQ had a similar class system to WoW (except all of EQ's classes had a TON of fluff abilities and player interdependent abilities) and WoW's raid system was based off EQ's raid system (both were terrible). That's about where the similarities end. EQ's world was without instances, focused on long long term leveling, group based content, shared content, player interdependency, immersion and player reliance over convenience, and each and every piece of the game just had more effort put into it. Quests in EQ involved actually typing and talking to the NPCs, there were little details in each system that didn't have to be there, more fluff in general. It feels like the difference between an adults house, and a house with a toddler in it, that has everything covered in safety gates and padded.

EverQuest Raid system was actualy alot different then from WoW, I know because I used to be a hardcore raider in EQ for many many years , and also raided in WoW , which was fun easier actualy and more relaxed then EverQuest raids. Believe me, you don't have to convince me that EQ raids were harder. WoW raids are super casual, though none of the newbie MMO players seem to believe it. What I meant is that EQ had a gear requirement/tiered raiding system locked within guilds, vs DAoC that had an "everyone come and bring a friend" raid system.

Alhough I agree with most of what you are saying, Most of Verants EverQuest was copied like crazy ,and WoW came along took alot of the ideas and made it far far easier than EQ , thats where the issues lie, when we have games like WoW that requires almost zero effort to get that new weapon or piece of armor or hell even that level, all this causes issues with MMORPGS as a whole in he longevity department and why alot of players don't play for years but only months and weeks ,and why we have content nuts who burn through the content. Back in the day those same people would have quit along time ago because it actualy required effort , I hope that they bring back , harsh death penaties , takes alot longer to level up , and 85% of quests need to be done in groups ,and if people don't like that, fine go back to consoles because MMORPGS were meant for the Hardcore RPG fans of the day , sad really to see it so watered down it's beyond stupid.

Project Gorgon is on kickstarter now and the guy running it is being VERY transparent about his game ideas. It seems it'll be a good old fashioned dungeon explorer type game with legit death penalties.

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