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News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: Don't Wanna Win

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55 posts found
  Nikopol

Novice Member

Joined: 11/21/08
Posts: 627

Brought to you by... The Spirit of Nikopol.

1/11/13 8:02:18 PM#21

I remember at last convincing my real life friends to join me in an MMO. It was, WoW, of course. :) They did get hooked, put a lot of hours in and got to cap. I remember them getting there and asking me in guild chat:

- So, what do I do now?

- You run the high level dungeons.

- But I've already done that!

- You run them again!!!

 

Boy, was that a disappointment for them. :)

 

  Wraithone

Hard Core Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 3580

If you can't kill it, don't make it mad.

1/11/13 8:06:28 PM#22

This is actually the Holy Grail of gaming... Barring some SERIOUS advances in software technology (close to GAI as one example), I doubt that we are going to see any real solution to this problem, any time soon.

Most of the better attempts I've seen leverage player conflicts with other players to extend game play.  That coupled with various creative out lets is about as far as it goes right now.  But that approach has some serious down sides.

There have been attempts at procedurally generating content, but that is limited in its application and quality.

So far, the attempts at side stepping the content creation bottle neck that I've seen have been more smoke and mirrors, than any real substance.  Some have been quite clever, but nothing has stood up to large numbers of players hammering on the system.

Human nature comes into play in some of this.  There is a good reason that many people are turned off by the sand box approach.  That can be summed up in one word; Goonies... ^^

There will always be people who get their jollies from ruining other peoples play experience.  Attempts to mitigate that have had limited success at best. 

Taken all together, this problem needs not just *a* solution, but multiple solutions that can be applied across the various types of games involved.  Its going to be fascinating watching people attempt to solve these problems.

  victorbjr

Hard Core Member

Joined: 9/13/10
Posts: 164

1/11/13 8:44:02 PM#23
Originally posted by BillMurphy

Avoid relying on content like quests, dungeons, and scripted events that take thousands of man hours and millions of dollars, and instead get it right from the start and put the power in players' hands.

Quests, dungeons, and all that? Love 'em. But relying on them as a designer is like forcing yourself to run uphill at full sprint with a 3,000 lb. semi strapped to your back... and expecting to be able to do that for years and years even though you age and the money you need to do it inevitably shrinks.

Victor here,

Bill has excellent ideas regarding this, which I remember from an article of his regarding MMO systems. Can;t find the article though. :(

Player-created content (such as foundry missions in STO or NEverwinter in the future) is great, but those also need to be curated or at the very least, the method of gaining power has to change so that the emphasis is less on growing stronger (or min maxing through easy foundry missions) and instead on experiencing a world. :D

A writer and gamer from the Philippines. Loves his mom dearly. :)

Can also be found on http://www.gamesandgeekery.com

  NorseGod

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/28/12
Posts: 580

1/11/13 10:07:00 PM#24
Originally posted by Freezzo
Originally posted by NorseGod

There is an entire generation coming into their 20's now that were brought up getting a trophy for last place.

The "Everybody is a Winner" Generation is going to be nothing but trouble for every aspect of our lives. It has already started.

No thought. No effort. Just show up and get a trophy. That is what games are like now. Games like Wow brought them into the genre by the millions. The gaming industry is now ran by bean counters and will never go back to the way MMORPGs use to be.

We need a MMORPG gamer to develope an old school MMORPG with the acknowledgement that, that said game will not have millions of players, but will be badass for the tens of thousands that are waiting for such game.

 

I think it's more that the whole gaming market and the MMO market has been opened up to wider audiences, who have the time nor the interest to invest into the world and their characters. I know plenty of people that play MMORPGs casually and like the rewarding systems and what's not, but fear a more complex game takes too much of their time or doesn't lead to fast fun. Most of these people are working/parents/whatever and not the generation of 20-year olds (I'm 21 FYI) that you claim them to be. As far as I know most of them play LoL and CoD. I'm sure it's spread over the whole spectrum, because I'm sure I just haven't met those of my age yet that only do stuff for rewards. And for the last statement I do agree and that's why it's probably best for an indie dev to pull something like that off.

So basically, because people decide to have a kid, my gaming experience has to be dumbed down? Don't you think that you have enough MMOs to choose from already, that you allow one good MMORPG? We're not playing your games anyways, so it's not like you're forcing us to migrate to yours or that you'll lose population.

You are correct though. I can't argue with your points made.

I'm just asking for someone that loves MMORPGs to make a good one for the few that have been waiting years. Not by a gaming company that only makes MMOs for the money.

I'd rather host a game that has 450K dedicated MMORPG gamers (which was the norm back then), than host a WoW clone, hoping to make WoW income but only have 50K players at best and on the edge of shutting down or going F2P every single quarter (which is what is going on today).

Yes, in reality, you are correct. But, let me tell you my opinion in regards to what you are describing.

Ever seen the movie Casino?

Remember when they started out in Vegas? There was a niche group of people that went to Vegas. They wore expensive suits, drove expensive cars. They ate gourmet foods. The management demanded high quality and the customers just assumed to get high quality.

At the end of the movie, the hotels were demolished and turn into themepark hotel casinos for the masses. Remember the scene when the huge gaggle of fat people, wearing Wal-mart clothes, kids, picking their noses walking through the doors? The quality went to crap, all-you-can-eat buffets in every casino, etc etc. I actually felt a sense of death in that scene.

That's what I think about when I read the "progress" of MMORPGs turning into MMOs to become more accessible for the lowest common denominator. Which by the way, when you cater to the lowest common denominator, you have to lower the bar.

 

  gaeanprayer

Novice Member

Joined: 8/06/08
Posts: 2360

1/12/13 12:35:37 AM#25
Opposite end for me. I don't want to be going constantly and never getting anywhere. I actually enjoy feeling like I "beat" a game....for now. Then I put it down and go do something else, usually something more productive, until an expansion comes out. I can understand how some people want to make a game feel almost like a home where they're simply always in it, doing something, but I can't empathize with that. I've been gaming for almost 25 years now, and even to me that seems like a gigantic waste of time and life.

"Forums aren't for intelligent discussion; they're for blow-hards with unwavering opinions."

  Rollgunner

Novice Member

Joined: 9/25/09
Posts: 33

1/12/13 1:31:09 AM#26

I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the movie Avalon, in which a Game Controller confronts one of the players in the game :

 

Which is the greater challenge?
Which is the better game?
Which would you choose, given the choice?

The sort of game that you think you can win, but cannot,
Or, alternatively, one that seems to be impossible, but isn’t?

Maintaining a precise, delicate balance somewhere in between,
throughout every level of the game – That’s what keeps it going.

And it is all up to us.


- Game Controller “Avalon” (2001)

 
  zekeofev

Novice Member

Joined: 1/28/11
Posts: 224

1/12/13 4:25:10 AM#27
Originally posted by Rollgunner

I'm reminded of one of my favorite quotes from the movie Avalon, in which a Game Controller confronts one of the players in the game :

 

Which is the greater challenge?
Which is the better game?
Which would you choose, given the choice?

The sort of game that you think you can win, but cannot,
Or, alternatively, one that seems to be impossible, but isn’t?

Maintaining a precise, delicate balance somewhere in between,
throughout every level of the game – That’s what keeps it going.

And it is all up to us.


- Game Controller “Avalon” (2001)

 

I used to think this was true. Difficulty in games where you could barely beat it when you got enough combined skills/farm/reactions/luck/memory/timing done.

 

Now though, gamers just quit if the difficulty is too high. Even free to play games need those free players to keep the population up. The result?

 

You have walked around the corner! 50 XP!

 

You have opened up your inventory! 100 XP!

 

You have used a skill! 200 XP!

 

You died and found the graveyard where we instantly return you to the boss fight and don't regen its hp! 500 XP!

 

Do MMOs need to be entirely hard? no. But I miss chalenges with a point to them. WoW used to be like that with the design of its hard mode BC dungeons when they were first introduced. Seriously to clear some of thoses bosses it took really strong 5 man coordination. Few of the trash was tankable and had to be kited around by the dps. Double healer was mandatory on the bosses. Etc.

 

Now dungeons are measured by TIME and not DIFFICULTY. I want content that prioritizes the 2nd and not the 1st (and not the 3rd option, cash shop money spent, either)

  shava

Advanced Member

Joined: 3/09/05
Posts: 282

1/12/13 6:26:11 AM#28

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Finite_and_Infinite_Games

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zero%E2%80%93sum_game

 

In today's technical business world for several decades, cooperation within boundaries (limited *technical* anarchy) is the way successful organizations compete.  (http://www.swlearning.com/management/hitt/sm6e/isc/focus/sf11_01.html) -- which is why game guilds can be such good preparation for modern business administration sometimes ;)

 

That is all.

 

If you can't distinguish these modes in life you will become very unhappy.  

 

If it's a flatland about WIN WIN WIN, you still have a lot to learn, and are being run by your endocrine system, not your brain.  If you want the people around you to trust you with the fun toys and big resources, use your brains, not just your glands.

 

Of course, there is a perennial need for cannon fodder... *ducks*

 

Even there, since the invention of  ballistics, we've been teaching military from the joint staff to grunts to be increasingly savvy and ever better integrated and self-organizing in fog-of-war.

 

The educational requirements for mercenaries in Prussia gave rise to the first free, public, universal (for boys) public education system in the western world starting at seven years old, shortly after Napoleon started obsoleting the formerly dominant position of the King of Prussia's elite forces (and income).  It also led to those boys going back to the King two decades later and demanding a peaceful transition to consitutional monarchy, so they could  have a little say as to where they got thrown into conflicts.  

 

The US educational system spun off from this system when Boston educator Horace Mann convinced his rich bride that Prussia was lovely in the spring -- but the US after the revolution had no federal budget so he had to settle for local school board funding, and his only control was insisting that the teachers had a standard preparation (what was then called "Normal School" if you ever see those in New England) so that a standard curriculum could be presented to the kids.  He had aims to shape a new yeoman citizenry for the new Republic, but after the civil war there was a movement by business to take over the curriculum to prepare workers through the curriculum for factory work, and nothing in the school board structure protected the schools from that.

 

An educator named John Dewey effected some compromises that saved shreds of the original system, but most of the conflicts in the modern education system you see today in the US (and often mistakenly propagated elsewhere) come from this period.

 

Good soldiers, good factory drones -- and now we need good creative independent thinkers and yeoman citizens of the new global reality and we barely remember how to make them.  Honestly the gaming community and the tech community -- the geek community -- might be better prepared than the rest of society to provide this, although they keep telling *us* that *we* are misfits.

 

First, we need to reteach ourselves things like this:  it's not about winning, it's about playing the game damn well.

 

  Harafnir

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/18/04
Posts: 1379

1/12/13 7:23:28 AM#29

I completly agree with the Advocate on this one. In Ulima Online, I was a tailor. I spent most of my days in the tailor shop, making clothes for people in different styles and colors, taking them to lunch at the local tavern, talking to people in town. It was an amazing game to play it exactly how you wanted it.

In SWG I wanted to be a barkeep, but that idea did nto work as well as I hoped, I became an engineer and built... everything. Started a shop, got my materials and focused on the business side of the game. And so on and so forth. In every game I have tried to find a place in the world, live a life.

Then developers who joined the MMO craze not for their love of good games, but for the love of easy money. came out and said that "people do not want to play some average Joe, they only want to be the great heroes" bringing the whole MMMO concept back into the old 90s action games, and away from the evolution of all of computer gaming... Then they said I and those I like to play with, do not exist. Or at least, have no value. We, who ONLY had MMOs to turn to, all other games are about being the big hero doing something really stupid, we suddenly lost our whole genre, our only place to be.

Games still cater to "Roleplayers" or people who wants to cybersex alot. I AM a roleplayer, playing a character in a real life.. and I do not have an existensial value, not like the cybersexers, the PvPers, the scammers and all other groups that has to be recognized and respected...

So... Did MMOs lose or gain somehting by this shift? Did they become better when they turned into the same as all other games, or did they become a little less? You know where I stand by now. And I feel very alone over on this side. Glad to see at least Devils advocate is here as well.

 

"This is not a game to be tossed aside lightly.
It should be thrown with great force"

  Cypeq

Novice Member

Joined: 7/21/12
Posts: 67

1/12/13 9:59:12 AM#30

I too don't want to win in mmo but that can happen you hit level cap you do your deal of raiding and / or pvp you get a feeling of I've seen it all and that's a deal breaker for me. Furthermore most theme park MMO are feeling to me like this same game over and over again just in little bit different clothes.

 

@Harafnir So you are a crafter at heart and you love it quite like me I was Black Smith / miner in UO  searching for good ore with my trusty prospector tools mining it and marking quality and location on my own bitmap mine map :) Avoiding dangers of nature and greedy players than finally smelting and hammering to make those sought for exceptional armors.

When I joined WoW I wanted to do this same only to hit a brick wall... of theme park game design that makes everyone a crafter of some minimal importance. Zero endgame value of most crafting professions make it laughable effort being able to sell only 2-3 items from your list that by system design to bind all crafting professions together.

It was a disappointment... UO allowed us to make game world what we wanted it to be it was ultimate sandobox because it was providing a lot of systems that just were there and you can never even dream of having them in multi million dollar games of today.

GM were crafting their own quests however they liked them and it was far superior experience than scripted dungeons.

The world seemed big and scary which is unknown value to the WoW and clones where player cannot meet foe he can't beat unless it's clearly stated in quest description X-players or more. I loved introduction of burning crusade and roaming elite foes and hc dungeons that was golden time for WoW in my book. In uo you new made character felt just like regular guy... even cows could kick your ass ;-)

I think we lost quite a lot because developers denied that large part of mmo history that is UO.

 
  MumboJumbo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3207

Veni, Vidi, Converti

1/12/13 10:11:28 AM#31
Originally posted by NorseGod

We need a MMORPG gamer to develope an old school MMORPG with the acknowledgement that, that said game will not have millions of players, but will be badass for the tens of thousands that are waiting for such game.

You have got to read this very insightful interview: An Interview With 'Pathfinder Online' Developer Ryan Dancey

.

Which is partly related to "open-ended game" systems.

Originally posted by Victor Barreiro Jr.

One thing I've realized from the games I've played, especially from Japanese single-player console RPGs, is that I feel bad when a game actually ends.

So true, (cue compulsive vomiting scene in Team America): Finishing Ocarina of Time for eg. That was it. I think open-ended games can be infinitely replayable if they have those emergent patterns that come out of them.

  ObiClownobi

Novice Member

Joined: 12/02/12
Posts: 189

1/12/13 11:18:07 AM#32
Originally posted by gaeanprayer
Opposite end for me. I don't want to be going constantly and never getting anywhere. I actually enjoy feeling like I "beat" a game....for now. Then I put it down and go do something else, usually something more productive, until an expansion comes out. I can understand how some people want to make a game feel almost like a home where they're simply always in it, doing something, but I can't empathize with that. I've been gaming for almost 25 years now, and even to me that seems like a gigantic waste of time and life.

All gaming is a gigantic waste of time and life, whatever your choice of game or play style you are sitting staring at flashing lights and pressing buttons in order.


"It's a sandbox, if you are not willing to create a castle then all you have is sand" - jtcgs

  User Deleted
1/12/13 11:39:48 AM#33
Originally posted by ObiClownobi
All gaming is a gigantic waste of time and life, whatever your choice of game or play style you are sitting staring at flashing lights and pressing buttons in order.

LOL, isn't that the truth... 

Want better games?  Get the developers out of the forums.  Games aren't better because you think they have your ear.  In fact, I think they are far worse because of it.  We don't know what we want.  We think we know.  The reason the games fall flat is because they keep trying to give us what we ask for... and quite frankly, we're the worst litmus ever to go by.

How about designers designing games that they like and if we don't like it, we won't play them?  No more of this beotching to the masses about how this or that can be improved to make the game better.  They'll get the message if we don't play it.  No need to text them or put a dissertation on the web about it.  Money talks louder than people do.

Will never happen though, because as much as we've all turned into locusts... they've also turned into facebook, twitter, and blog junkies.   They need to replace us and them... then innovation will return... we're both the cogs in the system... we're the ones perpetuating the same old same old.

You don't want to win, you just want to waste time.  That's all any of us want to do... waste time.

  FallguyArmy

Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/11
Posts: 80

1/12/13 11:39:52 AM#34
Originally posted by Nephaerius
I play games to win.  It's all about competition for me.  If there's no challenge or competition to be had I'm moving on.  Reaching cap or the end of progression if you will in an MMO is hardly winning the game IMO as a competitive PvP player.

Seems like you're better off playing an online FPS to get your PvP fix. MMOs (or should I say, MMORPGs) in general should offer more than just competitive gameplay.

  FallguyArmy

Novice Member

Joined: 12/24/11
Posts: 80

1/12/13 11:44:13 AM#35
Originally posted by pmiles
Originally posted by ObiClownobi
All gaming is a gigantic waste of time and life, whatever your choice of game or play style you are sitting staring at flashing lights and pressing buttons in order.

LOL, isn't that the truth... 

Want better games?  Get the developers out of the forums.  Games aren't better because you think they have your ear.  In fact, I think they are far worse because of it.  We don't know what we want.  We think we know.  The reason the games fall flat is because they keep trying to give us what we ask for... and quite frankly, we're the worst litmus ever to go by.

How about designers designing games that they like and if we don't like it, we won't play them?  No more of this beotching to the masses about how this or that can be improved to make the game better.  They'll get the message if we don't play it.  No need to text them or put a dissertation on the web about it.  Money talks louder than people do.

Will never happen though, because as much as we've all turned into locusts... they've also turned into facebook, twitter, and blog junkies.   They need to replace us and them... then innovation will return... we're both the cogs in the system... we're the ones perpetuating the same old same old.

You don't want to win, you just want to waste time.  That's all any of us want to do... waste time.

 

To be fair, some of the original concepts from developers I've seen or heard are ridiculous. Take TESO for example. Watered down visuals from Skyrim? A lock-on combat system instead of non-target (as it should be like in the original, single-player games)? And what's this crap I hear about some social networking features embedded in-game? Yeah, I don't think anyone called for these, yet the developers are planning to implement them regardless.

 

I do agree that the gaming community bitches and whines a lot and those who bark the loudest are the ones that the developers tend to listen to the most, and sadly, those certain individuals tend to have the worst ideas ironically enough. It's the same reason why I think TERA didn't quite live up to how it should've, as an example.

 

I guess in the end, no one really knows what they want. Players think they do, but they don't. Developers think they know what players want, but they don't (to an extent). And I say that because it seems like most online games coming out nowadays are just rehashes of what's already been done, and developers are just trying to one-up each other in hopes to get a piece of pie, so to speak, or earn that quick cash grab before moving onto a different project.

  thinktank001

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/13/08
Posts: 1939

1/12/13 12:38:05 PM#36
Originally posted by Kuppa

I think I understand what you mean. Do you have an example of a sucessfull system that is not somehow related to pvp? Besides stuff like mods and pure content creation by players(which can be fun, but it's not for everyone and the level of entartainment from them can vary greatly), I can't think of a single system that could be player driven and at the same time be only pve.

 

A very extensive crafting system could become such a system, or a character progression system similar to PoEs could become endless.  Coincidentally, a dungeon system similar to PoEs maps could also become infinite.

 

Wasn't the game Fate designed around an endless dungeon?

  tordurbar

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/02/10
Posts: 409

1/12/13 12:40:08 PM#37

Worlds don't end - stories do. MMO's, even SWTOR are worlds. You may kill the final boss or complete your personal story but the world does not stop. The reality is that there is no final quest - until the next patch or upgrade. I too rarely finish games (lol - FFVII was one of the few that I did complete) but it is not due to lack of interest - it is because I am a solo player.

Why is there such a letdown when you kill the final boss? Because you have focused so much energy in doing so. When you spend hours and hours of time gathering the gear and building the skills necessary to kill the boss you have purpose. Psychologically people with a purpose are happier than those aimless miscreants like me. However, when you fulfil your purpose you are left with nothing (except pleasant memories).

Maybe that is the tragedy of today's mmo players. They work like beavers to build their skills and fight like Hades to kill the final boss and then feel empty. No wonder they go on to the next mmo.  How can you blame them? 

  MindTrigger

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/19/07
Posts: 2628

1/12/13 2:02:56 PM#38
Good article!  This has been my position for years.  I'm not looking for a short-term MMO hero experience.  I'm looking for a virtual home away from home, one where I can invent and reinvent myself freely and forge my own path through the world.  However, there still needs to be a good setting, and larger conflict happening too, IMO.  There must still be a "game" there, not just Second Life.

A sure sign that you are in an old, dying paradigm/mindset, is when you are scared of new ideas and new technology. Don't feel bad. The world is moving on without you, and you are welcome to yell "Get Off My Lawn!" all you want while it happens. You cannot, however, stop an idea whose time has come.

  User Deleted
1/12/13 5:30:03 PM#39
Originally posted by tordurbar

Worlds don't end - stories do. MMO's, even SWTOR are worlds. You may kill the final boss or complete your personal story but the world does not stop. The reality is that there is no final quest - until the next patch or upgrade. I too rarely finish games (lol - FFVII was one of the few that I did complete) but it is not due to lack of interest - it is because I am a solo player.

Why is there such a letdown when you kill the final boss? Because you have focused so much energy in doing so. When you spend hours and hours of time gathering the gear and building the skills necessary to kill the boss you have purpose. Psychologically people with a purpose are happier than those aimless miscreants like me. However, when you fulfil your purpose you are left with nothing (except pleasant memories).

Maybe that is the tragedy of today's mmo players. They work like beavers to build their skills and fight like Hades to kill the final boss and then feel empty. No wonder they go on to the next mmo.  How can you blame them? 

You are a solo player in a massive multi player game... I can see how you feel rather strange in this enviroment :p

More horisontel game play. Its a good solution with the current game set, that is to rush to end game. 

  Ridan477

Novice Member

Joined: 5/07/12
Posts: 48

"My names Commander Shepard and this is my favorite site on the internet" - Commander Shepard

1/12/13 5:33:53 PM#40
I tend to agree with almost everything said above. To me the only content that can truelly be dynamic and "never end" is player driven PvP content. PvE comes straight from what the developers creat for us and there for has an end. GW2 for however dynamic those events are really only remains so for the first go around. PvP endgame remains in my opinion the only viable option for an mmo to have a living "endless" world. Dark fall UO has an amazing concept and if a bigger developer with more money could attempt something like that I think it could be special. Risky, but special.

Scoobin it up on the daily.

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