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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: The Problem No One’s Talking About

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168 posts found

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6496

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

11/11/12 4:56:27 AM#161
Originally posted by Torvaldr

So if they were out before WoW then why aren't we talking about cloning them?  Why does it always have to be WoW clone?  Whenever people use that it reminds me of things I try to forget: polyester double knit, milli vanilli, the macarana, seinfeld, 1987 - 1993, achy breaky heart, carrot top, and I could go on but you get the picture I hope.

We 2004.  Certain arguments become rote over time.

Hating Shaun Cassidy doesn't do have any impact in the 00's.  We have to hate latest edition--the Biebs--now.

"Da do ron ron ron"

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.


Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 13648

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

11/11/12 7:39:37 AM#162
Originally posted by Isane

Just step back a bit , remove all the auto features that make games more fun so that communities can thrive and you have your games back.





There isn't a "right" or "wrong" way to play, if you want to use a screwdriver to put nails into wood, have at it, simply don't complain when the guy next to you with the hammer is doing it much better and easier. - Allein


Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/12
Posts: 2

11/11/12 1:42:11 PM#163

Thanks for the welcome, I've actually been browsing the site on and off for a while, just don't post much 'cause I write pages of responses. ;)

It's less the Grinders that bother me and more that people making Grinders these days seem to have issues identifying what can actually make a grind fun vs something that makes me want to gouge my eyes out. I made a comparison with some friends over Bosses recently, comparing how the Encounter system worked for creating a new weapon between the popular WoW engine and the current Fallen Earth system (And will probably mention FE a lot, as I dont normally play the FPS combat system and have been enjoying experimenting with it in an MMORPG setting.)

FE recently released weapons simply reffered to as GORE, a developmental step to try and merge PvE and PVP aspects of the game and boost game economy. Each weapon requires a number of five different components, and each component comes from a different aspect of the game... And is driving a good part of the community bonkers as PVPers hate to PvE grind, and a lot of the PvErs cant get anywhere near a PVP zone without some serious issues, much less achive their goal.

The real jibe to this is the PvE bosses, and where my comparison crops up. Each of the 3 encounters for various components are very, very spread out, to the point of being in entirely different zones, and each weapon forces a player to fight at least two bosses. 10 to 12 times each. Per weapon. Minimum 24 times if your a dual weapon user, as both have to be created from scratch. The end result being you have 16 people standing on a spawn point doing exactly the same fight over and over and over and over, and once those people have their gear, never, ever want to do the grind again to help out other people due to how tedious and boring it is.

Alternitivly, WoWs system had variences. Yes, there was a grind, yes we were doing the same dungeon over and over, but I find myself almost on the point of lust for a dungeon with a 4-5 boss rotation and a few trash pulls compared to force popping the exact same 5 minute fight all day. If I wanted a Legendary Overpowered Weapon, WoW made me Work for it, made other players aware how awesome your hard work was, and generally caused positive reputation for the teams able to get the stuff together. When I played, a raid would get sent through challenging battles that required everyone to play a part instead of just standing around holding down the attack button. Building a weapon required puzzle elements and crews working together to unlock new encounters and better rewards for everyone, and... ONE of each craft item to build the weapon.

Fallen Earth started as a Pay to Play model and I was happy for it. It went into Free around the beginning of the year, so its been strange watching the hybridization process going on under G1's management. There were a lot of elements that drew me into the game initially, like a 6 faction PVP system that forced you to think about who you were shooting or accidentally find yourself hated by an NPC faction that you were getting craft blueprints from... and a unique mutation system that was tied into the factions you went into... And I watched the company remove the elements completely and the chaos that has evolved from the blatant aspect that eveyrthing that made the game unique and interesting has been stripped away entirely. Its just a pretty game that looks like Fallout now.

Alternativly, I love the storytelling in TSW and bought a lifetime subscription, but the game is like reading a Book. You cant really interact and change the story in any particular way, you cant really craft anything to share with other people on the vanity level, and after repeating the same quest chains for AP to enhance the build of your character, theres no actual reason to stay logged on. The Grind concept has been removed so much that I lack a secondary activity to do to encourage me to stay on longer until someone needs an extra for a dungeon or a group quest.

On the flip side; Theres a sad reality in the fact that everything is now compared to WoW, like the games that came out before it are silly, trite and 'never existed'. I find myself comparing stuff to WoW when I talk to people not because I liked the game or because it was my first game (it wasnt!) but because thats what people respond to. Fortunatly, its getting on in the years and has become something fo the new Runescape; everyones played it once but not everyone gets to the end game. I'd actually much rather find and play more games like Final Fantasy 11, a game that provided me with a positivly insane amount of crafts and classes, and never encouraged me to have more than one character. I actually found elements of what drew me to FFXI in Runes of Magic, but Runes had the F2P sickness of making gear far too easy to aquire, and a little TOO customizable without any real good guidelines on what was useful and what wasnt.

Games I've spent more than a year in;

FFXI (4+ years); High quality content that I could approach at my leisure, challenging level cap quests that enhanced the learning curve and prepared me for the next level step, unlockable classes that could be changed at any time on one character, Massive inter-player crafting system, Exp camps or alternitive group quests, Skill Chain system for combat to encourage party cooperation, gardening system, multiple pvp systems, city attack/raid systems, player housing and support for multiple guilds.

WoW (3+ years); 50 character slots, class differentiation, raids, holiday events that dont last an entire month, to-the-point LFG system, decent craft system, mod support, strong pvp content, and one of the few games I've ever been so addicted to the lore that I'd sit on the Wiki for days at a time looking up names and history related to whatever quest I just finished. Also, a pretty good support community for Roleplayers to the point of giving them their own servers. (I see this happening less and less in MMOs, even though every MMO attracts RPers of some kind.)

EQ2 (1 year); Facinating class and skill system, the exp lock was a cool feature I wish every game had now, raids, solid team play, good LFG system, great graphics even for a sub standard video card, INFURIATING CRAFTING SYSTEM THAT MADE ME QUIT (Serously, I appreciate interactive crafting, but not when I have to make 300 of something and cant AFK or produce results more than +1 at a time of an item, even if I get super high scores on my interaction).

LOTRO (1-2 years); Not actually a fan of Tolkine, so it was harder for me to really be all loving and adoring of the game, but it was still a good game. Made me terrified of Trees, the classes were all challenging and the skill chain system was interesting. Story quests were well done, party dungeons were enjoyable for the most part, and the limited crafting system kept me entertained for a while. Ended up leaving due to drama between friends in a play group. (And a bug in chap 11 that screwed the mob pathing for the zones I was questing in at the time and wasnt fixed for a while.)

Mabinogi (3+ years); Unique leveling system, uncommon skill and attribute gain system, limited crafting system, multiple alternitive methods for gaining experince based on playstyle,  lack of permenant classes (this is a good thing, honest), probably the best damned nickle and dime cash shop I've ever seen (as in; you can play the game really well without ever using anything from it, but its nice to have around), guild systems, castle and real estate systems, a completely player based economic system (No Auction House!), customization of outfits based on render and color rather than stats (lots of equipment with the same stats but completely different renders), social game systems like Fashion Show, Wine Making, and a fairly deep Music/Bard system.

Fallen Earth (1+ year); Going into my second year and the game has changed almost completely from what it was. I joined it for a challenging FPS PVP model where I'd have to negotiate and work with multiple factions to assualt pvp points and manage trade routes, hang out with roleplayers to get to know the game and where all the best node farms were for materials, and the great storyline built into the worlds quest system...

Now its turned into a hand holding PVP game for kids who dont want to really think, just shoot people, an overglorified screen saver for the roleplayers, and people dont even bother doing the quests anymore because so much engine rebalancing has made it more efficent to grind mobs and hit level cap in four days rather than do quests whos experince has been nerfed and quest rewards never rebalenced to line up with all the combat changes. I hang on to this game in vain hope they'll do something good for a pretty nice Post-Apocalyptic setting, but realistically, I'm already looking for 'the next big thing' and a new game to get hooked on.

I have a lifetime sub of TSW, but I havnt logged on in about 2 months, I havnt been in the mood for Story Book. I have Guild Wars 2 because all my buddies are playing it, but got pretty bored by lvl 30 (Pretty game, but hard to feel attached). I'm actually still playing Minecraft on a public server more than any serious gameplay in any MMO's right now.

I've basically given up on finding a game that exactly fits what I'm looking for (though bits and pieces I pick up about Goblinworks sounds facinating, its still way down the road), to the point that I've stopped looking at sites like Massivly and Ten Ton Hammer, and now I'm cruising Steams Greenlight and the Indie Bundles for real games with developers that arent being pressured by publishing companies to cover costs on server use and abusing popluar fads (Zombies/Vampires) to squeeze the big buck out of our wallets.

Realm of the Mad God was an interesting gaming experince, if not exactly a traditional 'MMO'.


Unless Nintendo gets off its ass and makes a real time 3d terrain Pokemon MMO. At which point I will eat all my words and spend exorbant amounts of money on pokeballs just to catch creatures everyone thinks are stupid. (I'll teach a Metapod Strength, you'll see!)


Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 5732

11/12/12 3:54:48 AM#164

I would defiantly recommend shorter posts, though I have been guilty of a few dissertations on here myself.

FE always interested me as a sandbox MMO that uses FPS, but as it is only in the US the lag would be a bit much for me I think.

When it comes to PvP and PvE you have to keep them separate, that is a lesson learned so many times and discussed on here so many times I find it hard to believe devs do not realise the problems that not keeping them distinct causes.

DDO and AoC both use hybrid FPS combat systems, not fully FPS but close and are well worth a look by anyone.

I heard about them stripping down FE. Clearly they decided to make their sandbox game more theme park, streamline gameplay and increase the easymode element wherever they could. In all walks of life the idea you can take away what makes your small concern unique and play with the big boys never works. Does not matter if you a small coffee shop that thinks being more like Starbucks will help sales or a small MMO that thinks being more like WoW will help sales. You can’t beat the big companies at their own game, being niche is your only way to keep making a profit.

TSW sounds like it fell into the same trap SWTOR did, great story but that means by necessity no player can do anything to alter the story. I have to say SWTOR does seem to have more story elements to it though, class story arcs and having a whole second set in the other faction do provide variety.


Advanced Member

Joined: 9/11/03
Posts: 236

11/12/12 10:53:46 AM#165

The reason I don't want free-to-play in my MMOG is that I think it attracts the wrong kind of player. It attracts the gamer who IS by nature easily disatisfied and bored, the player who needs a thrill a minute to stay interested, and the player who isn't at all interested in immersing himself in a game's universe.


Not everyone has my tastes, and I get that. I'm not against publishers creating F2P MMOG titles, I'm just saying they aren't for me.


My single biggest issue with today's MMOG is that there is no publisher willing to keep a clean player base, a player base in which the players agree to at least respect the rights of the RP focused player. In an effort to create WoW's success, publishers have tried to make their game suitable for everyone, and doing that has made the games more shallow; insipid is the word that comes to mind. Give me a game with depth and originaly unafraid of offending some kinds of players, one that sticks to the dreams of the developers, one that is truly artisitc in its endeavors.


I certainly agree that the games benefit by having content that isnt' part of the main story, or any story, such as player housing and custmoizable gear. However, I disagree with the idea that "content" will never be enough. EASY content will never be enough, but content with depth, that requires effort to accomplish, can be.


Being able to level from 1 to cap in a week does NOT make a good MMOG! At least, not the kind I really want to play.


The biggest mistake I think the WoW devs have made is thinking that some of the WoW way of doing things is what people must want, but the fact is many people play WoW in spite of these things, not because of them. It has always been easy to reach level cap in WoW (certainly compared to other MMOGs at the time), but now you can go from 1 to 90 in less time than it took to go from 1 to 60 in the original game. How can you possibly think that's going to give players enough content to satisfy them between Xpacks? Sure some people do want that - some people would rather the game gives up leveling entirely - but those kinds of players aren't the kind of players that stick wth a game over the long haul, they are the kind that play for a few months and move on to the next thing.


Have played: Everquest, Asheron's Call, Horizons, Everquest2, World of Warcraft, Lord of the Rings Online, Warhammer, Age of Conan, Darkfall


Advanced Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3922

11/16/12 5:18:19 AM#166
Originally posted by ThumbtackJ
Originally posted by Ozivois
They need to slow down level progression - that will add more time to subs.  Lower experience gain to a minimum so that players have to spend inordinate amounts of time in every area of the world. Offer raids for every ten levels. Limit daily experience gain.  Make it so that rare level 20 armor is worth looking for because you will be able to use it for another month as you work your way to level 30...

I sort of disagree. I think the time to level should be longer than it is in most games currently, but perhaps not to that extent. I wouldn't mind it taking 3-5+ months to hit a level cap, so long as there is content (player housing, PvP, crafting, exploring, etc) to do along the way, and so long as the leveling process is not a complete borefest. 

I"m sorta with you.. and I'm sorta with Oz too..  I do think leveling should be extended greatly.. BUT not to the extent that is feels like an indie grind with no purpose.. The trick is to have game system in place that takes away that feeling of grind, similar to what GW2 has done for me..  A good example would be like my early days in EQ for example.. I would semi grind to get hides, ore or whatnots for crafting.. It might take me a week to do this casual play, but when I'm done I have a nice new tunic that is NOT outdated the second I equip it..  Anyways.. sorry I got side tracked..

Good thread about gaming..  Models and Systems do need better attention..


Advanced Member

Joined: 5/12/10
Posts: 38

11/16/12 11:55:23 AM#167

I very much agree with this article. I cut my mmo teeth on Ultima Online, and often I think back to how much there was to do in that world. Dungeoneering, PVP, monster hunts, dynamic events like the undead attacking and even taking over cities, player housing (and not zoned, but open world housing!), crafting, player run merchants to sell one's crafted gear/items, and a few other things my aging mind has let go of. But it all added up to an experience that was varied and I remember often logging in thinking "What am I in the mood to do today?" because of the variety available.

I'm not saying UO was the be-all-end-all, because it wasn't... it was buggy, it was prone to hackers, it was a from-above-view type game (like Diablo) and had very limited combat animations and little in the way of varied attacks/abilities. But it had, as the author of this article puts it, "systems" in place. A solid set of systems. Over time, I've seen more and more mmos launch with fewer and fewer systems. 

MMO devs need to get back to making systems a greater focus, the new slant on mmos seems to be storytelling, and while I love me some story, I don't want that to be all I have to do: questing to forward the story. There needs to be a solid balance between content, pvp and systems.

As for the "subs vs F2P" model debate, I am torn... part of me aggrees that a monthly sub goes a long way to weeding out the game hoppers who are easily bored, easily distracted and all to eager to get on forums and complain their asses off even long after they've dropped the game. That kind of players is detrimental to the games and their communities. The other side of that is that it sucks to buy the box, then pay for the 2-3 months it often takes to determine a game isn't what one wanted, or just plain sucks. So maybe there's a middle ground that could alleviate both sides to some extent?



Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/04
Posts: 34

12/03/12 3:40:13 PM#168
Originally posted by Ozivois
They need to slow down level progression - that will add more time to subs.  Lower experience gain to a minimum so that players have to spend inordinate amounts of time in every area of the world. Offer raids for every ten levels. Limit daily experience gain.  Make it so that rare level 20 armor is worth looking for because you will be able to use it for another month as you work your way to level 30...

Are you familiar with the story of Pandora's Box? Your suggestion is akin to that in that you're wishing for something that can/will never happen (returning all that schmutz to the box). That horse has left the barn. If you think a game can come out with XP rates on par with EverQuest 1 (circa 1999) and be successful, I would beg to differ with that. The "problem" as it stands is the core MMO gamer demographic has aged significantly since then. Aged, and become much more casual. Fast xp/leveling rates are designed to keep these people playing. 

I understand (and agree) with your point of view but nowadays, MMOs are looking for mainstream appeal. Glacial personal development rates don't fit that bill. People would scream "grind" at the tops of their internet lungs, no matter how many systems or alternative things to do there are. 

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