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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Five Assumptions that are Killing the MMO

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179 posts found
  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

 
OP  1/07/13 10:39:36 AM#121
Originally posted by jpnz

If there is a 'segment' there needs to be proof that it exists before most companies invests millions of $$$ to create it.

Where was the proof in 2003 that WoW would rake in as many subscribers as it did?  Developing any MMO is a risk.  The only sure thing these days is the lack of enthusiasm for the most recent generation of games.  You seem to think that the path to profit is to avoid risk at all cost.  The fact is that all successful businesses became such because they took a risk and it paid off.

The only proof that we have is EVE with its 450k sub number.

You see that as proof that I'm wrong.  I see it as proof that I'm right.

Fact: EVE is hardly recognizable as a game.  It's complex and unforgiving.  As an experience, it's more like watching your disk drive defrag than WoW.    It drives away more players than it retains.

And yet, 450k subscribers.  More than Rift, LOTRO, TSW, or SWTOR.  Why is that?  There's something there that keeps people coming back.

If there was a game that took that something, and put it into a package that wasn't quite as complex or unforgiving -- a game that felt like a game and not a spreadsheet program -- people would play it.  You can't tell me it's impossible because no one has ever tried it.

That's nice and respectable but that's the only non-themepark MMO that is above 100k.

Most "non-themepark" MMOs are either 10 years-old or shovelware.  EVE is the only Sandbox with any production value, as far as I know. 

What about longevity? Video games are a disposable entertainment products for me so one game (MMO or non-MMO) rarely lasts more than 4 months.

Angry Birds and Farmville are disposable entertainment.  MMOs are meant to last.  At their best, they're hobbies in and of themselves.

I spent 5 years each in three different games -- and I don't think I'm the exception here.  Furthermore, all of those games are still up and running in some form.  That's not disposable to me.  Maybe the reason your games don't last you more than 4 months is that you're playing the wrong kind of games.

  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

1/07/13 10:56:32 AM#122

As a corrolary to #1, the biggest myth in MMORPGs is "company xxx never listens to its players".

All companys listen to their players.  Yes, some companys ignore major concerns due to a variety of different resaons (some legitimate some not), but they all make chnages based on their customers.

But with 99.99% of things the 'community' wants, there is a part of the community that does not want it.  So a company is always simultaneously listening AND not listening to what the community wants.

And there is no bigger example of this than Plane of Knowledge from EQ1.  A very major issue with a lot of people was the fact that it was very difficult to play with your friends, especially at low levels.  Your friend wanted to make a Halfling while you wanted to play an Elf?  Good luck playing together.  So the PoK port stones were introduced.  This reduced a lot of travel times in EQ, but far from removed it.  Half of the community loved being able to play with their friends as well as not spend 45 minutes to travel to an exp spot (now that was reduced to say 15 minutes, very rarely 0).  EQ grew in popularity after this change, peaking in popularity several years later.  But there is a very vocal group that will talk about how SoE ruined EQ and that they should listen to their customers.  But listenening to their cstomers is 100% how this change came about.

  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

1/07/13 11:01:14 AM#123
Originally posted by Greyface

That's nice and respectable but that's the only non-themepark MMO that is above 100k.

Most "non-themepark" MMOs are either 10 years-old or shovelware.  EVE is the only Sandbox with any production value, as far as I know. 

EQ may still be over 100k even with its age.  Its probably more like 50k, but it was a huge non themepark success.   FFXI is another one.  The first themeparks didnt come until EQ2 and WoW in 2004.  Plentys of games sustained 100k+ for many, many years.  In fact, the only themepark games to susutain more than 250k after a year in NA/EU market are WoW, LOTRO, and it looks like SWTOR.  Compare that with EQ, FFXI, DAoC, UO, SWG and EvE that all managed to do this as well

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

 
OP  1/07/13 12:11:03 PM#124
Apologies for the confusion:  I really wasn't referring to EQ or FFXI.   I've always thought of those games as Themeparks, though I admit that I've never played either. 
  strangiato2112

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 9/21/12
Posts: 1566

1/07/13 12:17:30 PM#125
Originally posted by Greyface
Apologies for the confusion:  I really wasn't referring to EQ or FFXI.   I've always thought of those games as Themeparks, though I admit that I've never played either. 

Of course some people will say that since they arent sandboxes they therefore are theme parks, but the reality is that neither game is remotely a themepark, at least in their primes.  

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19838

1/07/13 12:24:23 PM#126
Originally posted by Phrame

We have more than one flavor of MMO. STO plays totally differently than WOW. DDO has a totally different dungeon feel (more dungeon, less open world, more events & puzzles in dungeons) than WOW.

PS2 has massive combat. WOT has tank based instanced combat. And then we have super hero MMOs like DCUO.

There are plenty of variety. It may be valid to complain that the OP does not have games he like .. but it is just plain wrong to say there  is only one flavor of MMO. In fact, precisely because of the variety, I am in favor of MMO hoping and don't even have enough time to experience them all.

This is true, there are tons of MMOs after all so it's wrong to say there's only one flavor. I guess my point was there's no reason we can't have both what the OP wants and what the guy I responded to wants within the same genre. There's definitely more than one right way to make an MMO. 

The reason is always supply and demand. There is a demand for a Star Trek game, that is why STO is made, and continue to add content. I am not sure whether there is enough demand for what OP wants, but that determines if it got made.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3808

1/07/13 12:29:49 PM#127
Originally posted by strangiato2112
Originally posted by Greyface
Apologies for the confusion:  I really wasn't referring to EQ or FFXI.   I've always thought of those games as Themeparks, though I admit that I've never played either. 

Of course some people will say that since they arent sandboxes they therefore are theme parks, but the reality is that neither game is remotely a themepark, at least in their primes.  

 Amazing... the first themepark ever, the anti-UO....not a themepark. Gotta love revisionist historical posts.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19838

1/07/13 12:30:44 PM#128
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by jpnz

Angry Birds and Farmville are disposable entertainment.  MMOs are meant to last.  At their best, they're hobbies in and of themselves.

I spent 5 years each in three different games -- and I don't think I'm the exception here.  Furthermore, all of those games are still up and running in some form.  That's not disposable to me.  Maybe the reason your games don't last you more than 4 months is that you're playing the wrong kind of games.

"meant to last" .. determined by whom? You? I don't think MMO is meant for anything. It is just a genre of games, and i will use it as i see fit. If there is one that is fun for a year ... sure. But if one is fun for a month .. why wouldn't i just play it for a month?

There is no wrong kind of games to play ... as long as it is fun.

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

1/07/13 12:38:33 PM#129
EQ is a themepark.

It's not a wow clone obviously but its still a themepark.

As is daoc, despite having quite a few sandbox elements.

Stop taking themepark as an insult. It's just a description of a game type. Sure there's been an awful lot of "wow on the cheap but with a twist" themeparks in the past few years, but that doesn't mean all themeparks are bad games.
  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

 
OP  1/07/13 12:40:56 PM#130
Originally posted by nariusseldon

The reason is always supply and demand. There is a demand for a Star Trek game, that is why STO is made, and continue to add content. I am not sure whether there is enough demand for what OP wants, but that determines if it got made.

Not all good ideas come out of market research and focus groups.  In fact, very few come about that way.

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

 
OP  1/07/13 12:46:28 PM#131
Originally posted by nariusseldon

"meant to last" .. determined by whom? You? I don't think MMO is meant for anything. It is just a genre of games, and i will use it as i see fit. If there is one that is fun for a year ... sure. But if one is fun for a month .. why wouldn't i just play it for a month?

Follow your bliss then.  I'm not saying that game hopping is wrong -- but I would love it if there was a game that could engage me (and others) for longer than a month.  There was a time when retention was important in MMO design.  If that's no longer the case, then it just underlines the point I've been trying to make.

There is no wrong kind of games to play ... as long as it is fun.

No arguments here.  But there's more than one way to have fun in an MMO.

  Iselin

The Listener

Joined: 3/04/08
Posts: 3808

1/07/13 12:52:51 PM#132
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by nariusseldon

The reason is always supply and demand. There is a demand for a Star Trek game, that is why STO is made, and continue to add content. I am not sure whether there is enough demand for what OP wants, but that determines if it got made.

Not all good ideas come outr of market research and focus groups.  In fact, very few come about that way.

Hey, don't forget those wonderful humped committee horses

 

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19838

1/07/13 1:37:09 PM#133
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by nariusseldon

The reason is always supply and demand. There is a demand for a Star Trek game, that is why STO is made, and continue to add content. I am not sure whether there is enough demand for what OP wants, but that determines if it got made.

Not all good ideas come out of market research and focus groups.  In fact, very few come about that way.

No. But any idea to survive in the market, needs to have the demand. It does not matter how you generate the idea .... an idea no one buys is going to die.

  usnavynuc

Novice Member

Joined: 3/31/07
Posts: 40

1/07/13 1:43:41 PM#134
Originally posted by Rthuth434
revamp the first asheron's call.

Amen

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19838

1/07/13 1:45:34 PM#135
Originally posted by Greyface
Originally posted by nariusseldon

"meant to last" .. determined by whom? You? I don't think MMO is meant for anything. It is just a genre of games, and i will use it as i see fit. If there is one that is fun for a year ... sure. But if one is fun for a month .. why wouldn't i just play it for a month?

Follow your bliss then.  I'm not saying that game hopping is wrong -- but I would love it if there was a game that could engage me (and others) for longer than a month.  There was a time when retention was important in MMO design.  If that's no longer the case, then it just underlines the point I've been trying to make.

There is no wrong kind of games to play ... as long as it is fun.

No arguments here.  But there's more than one way to have fun in an MMO.

Yes, there are many ways to have fun. But the point is that there is no "wrong" way. I am disputing the statement that mmo is meant for anything. It is up to the individual to enjoy it as he/she sees fit.

Obviously it is your perogative to want a longer term MMO. However, you just admit that "game hopping is not wrong" ... so MMO is really not meant for anything .. just up to the individual. You want it to be long. Others may not.

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

 
OP  1/07/13 2:18:48 PM#136
Originally posted by nariusseldon

No. But any idea to survive in the market, needs to have the demand. It does not matter how you generate the idea .... an idea no one buys is going to die.

No, it just goes F2P.

  Syferus

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/12
Posts: 3

1/07/13 2:23:14 PM#137
 Thank you for writing this OP, so I didn't have to.  Well written and straight on point with every account.  We have to find a happy medium and every game since WoW has been trying to cater to a constantly expanding, simplified voice of the MMO consumer.  One dictated by the lowest common denominator.  We need to take risks and we need to progress forward.  The subscription model will live alongside innovation.  I think WoW innovated towards an extreme and its success shifted the entire market that direction.  I think someone will come along and shift it back.  When that day comes, I won't be leaving my house for at least two weeks.  Haven't had a game effect my professional life in far too long.
  Metentso

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 8/14/10
Posts: 1458

1/07/13 2:29:31 PM#138
Originally posted by jpnz
Originally posted by Metentso

Let me add another assumption, that is killing MMOs, in my oppinion:

"MMOS have to be fun"

Bluntly said, MMOs don't have to be fun, they have to be epic, you have to suffer (but not frustrating, hopefully). At the end you have the feeling of having done something amazing, which doesn't equal to fun exactly.

We are talking about VIDEO GAMES right?

I view video games as a disposable entertainment product and I'm pretty sure that's what most people expect.

It's a video game as Flight Simulator 9 was a video game. If you played it seriously for years, it becomes so different from a disposable entertaniment product that it can be considered another thing. Of course it is a video game, but if you take into account all the experiences, strategies, adventures, that spontaneously  "happened" along the game play thanks to player interaction, it's not only a videogame it's something else, it's an MMORPG with every letter having its full meaning. This lost now.

Of course you can say it's nerdy. Well it is.

  Nadia

Elite Member

Joined: 7/26/03
Posts: 11491

1/07/13 2:33:07 PM#139
Originally posted by ShakyMo
ONE assumption that is killing mmos

"we can get 10 million subs like wow"

thats the primary reason Microsoft wont get involved with any mmo

 

Microsoft wants WOW numbers

  Greyface

Novice Member

Joined: 5/23/04
Posts: 388

 
OP  1/07/13 2:48:38 PM#140
Originally posted by nariusseldon

Yes, there are many ways to have fun. But the point is that there is no "wrong" way. I am disputing the statement that mmo is meant for anything. It is up to the individual to enjoy it as he/she sees fit.

Obviously it is your perogative to want a longer term MMO. However, you just admit that "game hopping is not wrong" ... so MMO is really not meant for anything .. just up to the individual. You want it to be long. Others may not.

You're taking my words on a little bit of a trip around the block there.  No, game hopping isn't wrong, but catering to it in MMOs is a waste.  As a developer, why would you create an MMO, with all of the associated costs, if people are going to drop it in three months?  These games are envisioned by their creators as services that exist for years -- read the transcripts of the investor calls at EA, Activision, or NCSoft  if you think I'm making this stuff up.

I'm not going to tell you how you should enjoy yourself, but don't mistake that for any admissions on my part.  The purpose of MMOs, from a business standpoint, is player retention and ongoing revenue.  That's where they've failed.

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