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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » MMOs can solve the "too easy" "too difficulty" problem with the "monster power level" idea

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62 posts found
  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

 
OP  10/11/12 11:32:32 AM#1

Many here complains MMOs are too easy. Many on official MMO forums complains MMOs are too hard  (good example: lots of complains about CATA H dungeons being too difficult and Blizz has to nerf them).

Obviously you can't please everyone.

No longer. D3 is going to get a "monster level" system that you can choose a level of difficulty (1-10 monster power level in D3, but obviously can have as many levels as needed in a game) with more rewards at higher difficulty. The highest level is probably impossible for 99.99% of the players.

It works both in leveling, and end game. This will once and for all, solve the issue. No one can claim the game is too easy, or too hard.

May be this can be used in MMOs, particularly the leveling part, which a lot here think is too easy.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7677

Logic be damned!

10/11/12 11:40:36 AM#2

You underestimate (or overestimate) the general MMO populace.

Players will easily figure out which setting (1-10) offers the best ratio of easy-to-leveling speed and everyone but the "noob" that doesn't use forums or speak to guildies will set their monsters to that setting.

Maybe 5% will set it higher and maybe 10% will be unaware of the system at all and complain (still) that it's too easy or too hard.

As an example-

In TERA (and this is all going off of old information, so just bare with me and understand the point)

You can probably solo a BAM if you are a skilled player, and maybe you can and it takes you 10 minutes.

But in a group of 5, you can kill the same BAM in 2 minutes.

The XP is divided 5 ways if you do it in a group, so in THEORY if you kill 5 BAMs in 10 minutes in a group or if you kill 1 BAM solo in 10 minutes, you should get the SAME amount of XP right?

And since there is no loot competition, on average, you'll get the same amount of loot from 1 BAM killed solo versus 1/5 chance of loot for each of the 5 you kill in a group.

But we all know it doesnt' REALLY work out that way.

Maybe 10% of the player base will solo the BAMs, 10% will avoid BAM's all together, and 20% will enjoy that BAM's are "required" group-only content... but the remaining 60% will complain and bitch/moan that they are "forced" to group in order to kill BAM's "effectively."

Now Playing: D3:RoS, Watch Dogs
Looking Towards: Destiny

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7677

Logic be damned!

10/11/12 11:43:52 AM#3

And what happens when I, the "good" player, sets my monsters to 10 and then decides for LAWLS to train them into noobs who have their monsters set at the "perfect ratio" balance of 4 or 5?

And how F'd would it appear if player A in the zone is killing 3-4 of mob 1 in a AOE blitz in a few seconds while player B is fighting one of mob 1 in an epic 5 minute struggle?

And what happens when player A sees player B struggling and decides to jump in and help, because they are nice, and the one mob 1 turns and 1-shots player A because they are set to 10?

etc. etc.

TL:DR-

Nice idea on paper, "choose your own difficulty" but in the MMO space - very hard to pull it off right without all kinds of issues and ridiculousness.

You could have seperate phases or instanced of the same maps based on Monster level, but how MMO is that really and we all know the 1-5/6 level ranges will be packed and 7-10 will be ghost towns.

 

Now Playing: D3:RoS, Watch Dogs
Looking Towards: Destiny

  sapphen

Apprentice Member

Joined: 1/06/07
Posts: 916

10/11/12 11:54:19 AM#4
Originally posted by BadSpock

And what happens when I, the "good" player, sets my monsters to 10 and then decides for LAWLS to train them into noobs who have their monsters set at the "perfect ratio" balance of 4 or 5?

And how F'd would it appear if player A in the zone is killing 3-4 of mob 1 in a AOE blitz in a few seconds while player B is fighting one of mob 1 in an epic 5 minute struggle?

And what happens when player A sees player B struggling and decides to jump in and help, because they are nice, and the one mob 1 turns and 1-shots player A because they are set to 10?

etc. etc.

TL:DR-

Nice idea on paper, "choose your own difficulty" but in the MMO space - very hard to pull it off right without all kinds of issues and ridiculousness.

You could have seperate phases or instanced of the same maps based on Monster level, but how MMO is that really and we all know the 1-5/6 level ranges will be packed and 7-10 will be ghost towns.

 

I think the difficulty could be placed on the character rather than the monster.  If you have a higher difficulty scale then the monster would just hit you harder.  If something like this was to work, I wouldn't seperate the players to achieve it.

Overall, not a terrible idea by OP.  It could work in a lot of ways but MMO players would still complain and find a way to be unhappy.

  Dreamo84

Defender of Worlds

Joined: 5/20/04
Posts: 2725

I actually still like MMORPGs

10/11/12 12:01:10 PM#5
Just gimp all the good players. Make them play naked.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7677

Logic be damned!

10/11/12 12:02:36 PM#6

They either need to

A. completely remove the idea of "content for everyone!" and make certain areas/zones/instances etc. more challenging - and of course NOT require anyone to do them - make it a true choice - but some (probably many) players get jaded and cry elitism and/or favoritism and it doesn't make much business sense to spend hours/days/weeks (lots of $$) on content only a portion of your player base will ever see.

Or

B.truly embrace the "choose your own adventure" mentality - like the WoW dungeons/Raids each with 3 difficulty settings now.

But how do you translate that to the leveling process?

 

I think the "real" answer is

C. bring back the idea of "hardcore" server types.

UO had them, other MMOs of old had them.

Tweak server rules to increase mob health + damage, forcing either A) more player skill or B) forced grouping.

Limit XP rates, set skill caps like they did on UO Siege Perilous.. etc. etc.

And if that server fails to draw enough players to pay to keep it running (which is an old-school concept anyway as I'm sure "modern" MMO server structure is all virtuals and distributed processing (clustered) etc.) just shut it down OMG experiment failed.

Now Playing: D3:RoS, Watch Dogs
Looking Towards: Destiny

  phantomghost

Novice Member

Joined: 11/05/11
Posts: 604

"Kill me, my man kills you, that's how you lose."

10/11/12 12:09:30 PM#7

The thing is you can't give players the choice.  Most people will do whatever is fastest, a lot of people compete in those aspects.

 

The game needs to be difficult enough on its own that will add length to leveling... the better players (or 1s with more time) will level quicker.  Giving players the choice will not help at all, that is more of a single player game aspect... easy, normal. hard, etc.

"I see they watchin' me and takin' notes on my moves, Run up on me it's all I want I ain't got nothin' to lose."

  L0C0Man

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/30/09
Posts: 919

10/11/12 12:52:18 PM#8

That system works in D3 because you either play alone or with a small group, and would probably work in a heavily instanced MMO like GW1 or DDO, but in an open world MMO would be too easy to exploit, IMHO. Some things that just pop into my mind when reading it... if the difficulty system is monster based, what would prevent me from spawning difficulty level 10 monsters and train them into the guy playing with difficulty level 1? If the monster auto adjusts when it attacks the lower difficulty level guy, then it would be easy for griefers to just create level 1 chars and run around attacking monsters by level 10 chars and to decrease their rewards as a way to grief (kinda like low level chars running into higher level AoEs in PvP servers in Age of Conan to get them tagged as PKs). If the monster attacks are different between players, how do you take into account grouped players of different levels?. The system would have to be very carefully tuned so that they don't get an advantage there, either powerleveling by having a higher level char tag along with you, or maybe having a lower one to make your kills easier or things like that.

Personally I like a system like GW2, where people are downleveled to the area level, so it's supposed to be the same difficulty for everyone, plus adding different difficulties in different areas. Just have some few easy XP areas for people that want that but with reduced rewards, most of the zone regular difficulty, and have some few areas that are very hard (lots or more powerful monsters, for example) but also much more rewarding. I'd imagine it kinda like Winterspring in vanilla WoW (no idea if it's changed in cata, never played it), there were regular mobs around the place, and there was a cave filled with elite mobs (back then they were part of the onyxia attunement quest), or maybe Un'Goro crater that also had regular mobs, had some areas with harder elite mobs, and there were the huge roaming boss like mobs (at least when you were the apropiate level for the area)

What can men do against such reckless hate?

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

10/11/12 1:13:31 PM#9

I also think that, in part, the "too easy"/"too hard" dynamic may be getting a bit misinterpreted. Part of the complaint, I think, is more about the games being "too simplistic" to play rather then "too easy".

For example if you took a monster that required a roll of 8 on a D20 to hit and suddenly required a roll of 18 instead...that would make the monster "harder" but unless the player had some way through intelligent/skillfull play of improving their odds of defeating the monster it wouldn't be any more satisfying/interesting in terms of game play for the player. It would simply shift from arbitrarly easy to arbitrarly hard.

I think what players are looking for more is games that vary in COMPLEXITY and DEPTH of play....and that's not neccessarly something that can be fixed with a simple slider. Even if sliders were a good idea, which I'm not too sanguine about in the first place.

 

 

  Betaguy

Elite Member

Joined: 12/31/04
Posts: 2526

Some folks are like Slinkies, totally useless but great fun to watch when pushed down stairs

10/11/12 1:15:37 PM#10
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Many here complains MMOs are too easy. Many on official MMO forums complains MMOs are too hard  (good example: lots of complains about CATA H dungeons being too difficult and Blizz has to nerf them).

Obviously you can't please everyone.

No longer. D3 is going to get a "monster level" system that you can choose a level of difficulty (1-10 monster power level in D3, but obviously can have as many levels as needed in a game) with more rewards at higher difficulty. The highest level is probably impossible for 99.99% of the players.

It works both in leveling, and end game. This will once and for all, solve the issue. No one can claim the game is too easy, or too hard.

May be this can be used in MMOs, particularly the leveling part, which a lot here think is too easy.

Intresting to say the least. I will keep my eye on this.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

 
OP  10/11/12 1:20:32 PM#11
Originally posted by L0C0Man

That system works in D3 because you either play alone or with a small group, and would probably work in a heavily instanced MMO like GW1 or DDO, but in an open world MMO would be too easy to exploit, IMHO. Some things that just pop into my mind when reading it... if the difficulty system is monster based, what would prevent me from spawning difficulty level 10 monsters and train them into the guy playing with difficulty level 1?

Most of the end-game content (dungeons & raids), and much of the leveling content (dungeons) are small group. This idea can easily apply to those.

Put an extra difficulty lever when someone uses a LFD to find a dungeon group. That is more or less standard in many MMOs.

And yes, open world content will be more problematic. The good news is that many MMO end game content is not open world anyway.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

 
OP  10/11/12 1:24:29 PM#12
Originally posted by phantomghost

The thing is you can't give players the choice.  Most people will do whatever is fastest, a lot of people compete in those aspects.

 

The game needs to be difficult enough on its own that will add length to leveling... the better players (or 1s with more time) will level quicker.  Giving players the choice will not help at all, that is more of a single player game aspect... easy, normal. hard, etc.

So what? The point is to give selection to people who WANT the challenge. If you are not one of them, be my guest and do the fastest thing.

Plus, the "fastest" setting change depending on your gear. So it is a way to make it more interesting when people progress. For example, look at WOW. People struggle with heroic dungeons when they first hit level cap, and then breezing them through in raid gear in another month.

It would be much more fun if they can push up the difficulty to get better drops.

  Rayshe

Novice Member

Joined: 11/30/11
Posts: 1294

10/11/12 1:26:34 PM#13

You need to keep the Fun aspect in the challenge aswell. one instance where this failed was the Padruii in TSW.

 

For those who havent gotten that far or played the game at all. in order to defeat a pardruii you need to Hinder 2 Wisps that follow it around and pull the boss away from them in order to break the connection, then you need to kill the wisps because if you dont they will just reconnect and make it so you cannot hurt the boss. needless to say this isnt a 1 man job. it requires atleast 2, makes it abit easyer if you have a 3rd being a healer.

 

People dont even fight these bloody things any more. the fight feels soo annoying that people tend to do the mission once and then avoid the area like the plague. Keeping challange in needs to keep fun in aswell. This sadly was a failure on the Devs part.

Because i can.
I'm Hopeful For Every Game, Until the Fan Boys Attack My Games. Then the Knives Come Out.
Logic every gamers worst enemy.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

 
OP  10/11/12 1:26:54 PM#14
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

I also think that, in part, the "too easy"/"too hard" dynamic may be getting a bit misinterpreted. Part of the complaint, I think, is more about the games being "too simplistic" to play rather then "too easy".

For example if you took a monster that required a roll of 8 on a D20 to hit and suddenly required a roll of 18 instead...that would make the monster "harder" but unless the player had some way through intelligent/skillfull play of improving their odds of defeating the monster it wouldn't be any more satisfying/interesting in terms of game play for the player. It would simply shift from arbitrarly easy to arbitrarly hard.

I think what players are looking for more is games that vary in COMPLEXITY and DEPTH of play....and that's not neccessarly something that can be fixed with a simple slider. Even if sliders were a good idea, which I'm not too sanguine about in the first place.

 

 

It works in D3 because you can vary you build so either a) kill faster and die more, b) or kill slowly but be safer ... and so you do need to change playstyle on different difficulties.

For example, i use a fast archon/disintegration beam build for fast act 1 farming, and switch to slower arcane orb build for act 3 farming. I have also play variation depends on my at the moment gear level.

This kind of mechanics can be put into a MMO.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

 
OP  10/11/12 1:30:30 PM#15
Originally posted by Rayshe

You need to keep the Fun aspect in the challenge aswell. one instance where this failed was the Padruii in TSW.

 

For those who havent gotten that far or played the game at all. in order to defeat a pardruii you need to Hinder 2 Wisps that follow it around and pull the boss away from them in order to break the connection, then you need to kill the wisps because if you dont they will just reconnect and make it so you cannot hurt the boss. needless to say this isnt a 1 man job. it requires atleast 2, makes it abit easyer if you have a 3rd being a healer.

 

People dont even fight these bloody things any more. the fight feels soo annoying that people tend to do the mission once and then avoid the area like the plague. Keeping challange in needs to keep fun in aswell. This sadly was a failure on the Devs part.

Sure. But difficulty level and combat mechanics are not exactly dependent on each other.

For a fun mechanics (for example, the arcane sentry in D3, or mortar fireballs you need to avoid), you can scale it up so that you die if you make a mistake, or scale it down so the damage is so low that you can ignore it.

The only thing you cannot scale are the one or two mechanics (like immunity example you post). Even those, you can scale it by having shorter duration, or that having one instead of 3 wisps.

But the point is that making fun mechanics is a must for any fun game .. but still an additional difficulty control will be useful to make it even more fun because different people want different level of challenges.

 

  User Deleted
10/11/12 1:58:10 PM#16

It could work for some games no doubt, but some questions?

 

How does that work in non instanced gameplay?

How does that promote people actually improving?

Does that not take away some of the appeal of high level content? If you can just go in Epic Dungeon of Doooooom!! and Select a face roll setting, it kind of loses it's mystique somewhat.

  GrumpyMel2

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/24/09
Posts: 1789

10/11/12 2:01:54 PM#17
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

I also think that, in part, the "too easy"/"too hard" dynamic may be getting a bit misinterpreted. Part of the complaint, I think, is more about the games being "too simplistic" to play rather then "too easy".

For example if you took a monster that required a roll of 8 on a D20 to hit and suddenly required a roll of 18 instead...that would make the monster "harder" but unless the player had some way through intelligent/skillfull play of improving their odds of defeating the monster it wouldn't be any more satisfying/interesting in terms of game play for the player. It would simply shift from arbitrarly easy to arbitrarly hard.

I think what players are looking for more is games that vary in COMPLEXITY and DEPTH of play....and that's not neccessarly something that can be fixed with a simple slider. Even if sliders were a good idea, which I'm not too sanguine about in the first place.

 

 

It works in D3 because you can vary you build so either a) kill faster and die more, b) or kill slowly but be safer ... and so you do need to change playstyle on different difficulties.

For example, i use a fast archon/disintegration beam build for fast act 1 farming, and switch to slower arcane orb build for act 3 farming. I have also play variation depends on my at the moment gear level.

This kind of mechanics can be put into a MMO.

Narius,

I can't speak directly toward D3 because I haven't played it, but what you described doesn't neccessarly speak to the game being more complex/simplistic it just means it accomodates different play-styles. An example of what I am talking about might be a game that incorporates facing/flanking, cover, attacks of opportunity, weapon speed, weapon reach, balance, stamina, weapon durability/breakage, footing/terrain, encumberance, ammunition count, morale, etc compared to one that doesn't . In other words are there more play elements that the player has to account for and can either use to his advantage or disadvantage.

In other words Chess is a more complex game then Checkers because in Chess each piece moves differently and there are more rules/play elements for the player to track.

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

 
OP  10/11/12 2:27:50 PM#18
Originally posted by bunnyhopper

It could work for some games no doubt, but some questions?

 

How does that work in non instanced gameplay?

How does that promote people actually improving?

Does that not take away some of the appeal of high level content? If you can just go in Epic Dungeon of Doooooom!! and Select a face roll setting, it kind of loses it's mystique somewhat.

1) probably not. There may be way to do it in open world gameplay. But since a LOT of MMO content is in instanced gameplay ... it address the difficulty issue for large parts of the game.

2) Why is that even relevant? The goal is to let people who want a challenge have it .. and those who don't ... play easy mode, with some appropriate level of reward. These are games. So if other players don't improve, so what?

3) You can always have a minimum difficulty like that in D3. Inferno with monster level 0 is still hard the first time you play it with Hell level of gear.

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19124

 
OP  10/11/12 2:31:24 PM#19
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by GrumpyMel2

I also think that, in part, the "too easy"/"too hard" dynamic may be getting a bit misinterpreted. Part of the complaint, I think, is more about the games being "too simplistic" to play rather then "too easy".

For example if you took a monster that required a roll of 8 on a D20 to hit and suddenly required a roll of 18 instead...that would make the monster "harder" but unless the player had some way through intelligent/skillfull play of improving their odds of defeating the monster it wouldn't be any more satisfying/interesting in terms of game play for the player. It would simply shift from arbitrarly easy to arbitrarly hard.

I think what players are looking for more is games that vary in COMPLEXITY and DEPTH of play....and that's not neccessarly something that can be fixed with a simple slider. Even if sliders were a good idea, which I'm not too sanguine about in the first place.

 

 

It works in D3 because you can vary you build so either a) kill faster and die more, b) or kill slowly but be safer ... and so you do need to change playstyle on different difficulties.

For example, i use a fast archon/disintegration beam build for fast act 1 farming, and switch to slower arcane orb build for act 3 farming. I have also play variation depends on my at the moment gear level.

This kind of mechanics can be put into a MMO.

Narius,

I can't speak directly toward D3 because I haven't played it, but what you described doesn't neccessarly speak to the game being more complex/simplistic it just means it accomodates different play-styles. An example of what I am talking about might be a game that incorporates facing/flanking, cover, attacks of opportunity, weapon speed, weapon reach, balance, stamina, weapon durability/breakage, footing/terrain, encumberance, ammunition count, morale, etc compared to one that doesn't . In other words are there more play elements that the player has to account for and can either use to his advantage or disadvantage.

In other words Chess is a more complex game then Checkers because in Chess each piece moves differently and there are more rules/play elements for the player to track.

 

I would argue that the complexity aspects you mention (facing/flanking, cover, attacks of opportunity, weapon speed, weapon reach, balance, stamina, weapon durability/breakage, footing/terrain, encumberance, ammunition count, morale, etc) is independent of the complexity.

In D3, it has facing (no flanking), weapon speed (certainly), weapon reach (more like different range of attack), weapon durality (yes), terrain (yes) .. you can hide behind stuff, encumberance (no in weight but in inv slots), no in ammunition count.

Actually i think the stuff you mention is not that interesting. Certainly not as interesting as different combat mechanics (like slow time bubble) like CDs, procs, synergies of skills, monster mechanics (like stuff you need to avoid).

But once again, these are the basics to make a good combat game. The discussion is about variable difficulty level which can be done in a simple game, as well as a complex one (like D3).

  kaiser3282

Tipster

Joined: 5/21/08
Posts: 2602

10/11/12 2:34:56 PM#20
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Many here complains MMOs are too easy. Many on official MMO forums complains MMOs are too hard  (good example: lots of complains about CATA H dungeons being too difficult and Blizz has to nerf them).

Obviously you can't please everyone.

No longer. D3 is going to get a "monster level" system that you can choose a level of difficulty (1-10 monster power level in D3, but obviously can have as many levels as needed in a game) with more rewards at higher difficulty. The highest level is probably impossible for 99.99% of the players.

It works both in leveling, and end game. This will once and for all, solve the issue. No one can claim the game is too easy, or too hard.

May be this can be used in MMOs, particularly the leveling part, which a lot here think is too easy.

Cool story, except D3 is far from the 1st to have something like this. DDO for example, has a range of difficulties for every instance from solo, normal, hard, and i think elite is the toughest. Doing solo is the easiest but gets you the least rewards, and elite is the toughest but gets you the biggest rewards.

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