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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » Invention or Innovation? Do you know the difference?

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25 posts found
  aslan132

Elite Member

Joined: 10/01/07
Posts: 271

 
OP  1/31/13 10:28:10 AM#1

This has been a big pet peeve of mine for quite some time on the forums. I have been putting this off for months, hoping people will see the error of their ways, but its become painfully obvious that the majority of the people just dont understand. So what is it im talking about? Well, everytime a new MMO is about to be released, usually part of the hype is all about innovation. Then when the game is actually released, players come in droves to the forums and complain that there was no innovation in the game, and the Developers all lied to us to get us to buy the game. 

 

Unfortunately, we the player in this case, are the liars, not the Devs. It seems somehow that players started to believe that Innovation means Invention. But what do i mean by that? Well, Invention is creating something new. Thats what players say they want in games. Innovation is taking something already present and created, and changing, hopefully for the better. That is what game designers are doing. Need some examples?

 

Television was an invention. HD Television was an innovation.

Airplane was an invention. Jumbo jets were an innovation. 

Telephone was an invention. Cell phones were innovation.

 

Are you starting to see the difference? And how does this play out in MMOs? Well, anyone who has been around MMOs for awhile can tell you, they arent what they used to be. Questing has gone through major changes. In Eq1, you had to actually type to the quest giver, with specific words or phrases to be taken through the dialogue and granted the quest. Then it was simply clicking on the NPC and reading or skipping the text. Innovation. From quest hubs, to open exporation. You used to have to complete all the quests in one area before being able to move on to get new ones. Then you were able to skip quests if you wanted to just level past them by grinding. The hubs were still there, but no longer required to progress. Now you are free to roam, picking what you want, ignoring what you dont.

 

A hot button topic is DEs or PQs. Many games have them, its not just WAR and GW2. But even those two games do it differently. GW2 never claimed to have invented DEs, but they certainly improved the way they worked and behaved, and therefore innovated. In WARs, or even Rifts, you either finished it and got rewards or you didnt. There was no pass or fail, and there were no different paths for each. In GW2, if you succeed, one thing happens, and if you fail, something completely different. In chains, the paths will differ even more as you continue to succeed or continue to fail. There are multiple outcomes, not just closing the Rift to get your quest NPCs back, or getting some random roll of the dice for loot in WAR. I hated the fact, that in WARs PQs, you could get top marks for partipation, and some noob who only hit a mob once, can get better loot than me, because of the dice roll after the event. 

 

So now you see, games are innovating. From the way quests work, even how you are presented them at all. Maps become more detailed, crafting hasnt always been improved, but its still had innovations. Innovation tried to make things better, but it doesnt always. Sometimes change doesnt work, but its still innovation. Next time you compare two games... any two games, stop and think. Was it just a copy of the same system? What is a clone? Did I recieve the quest the exact same way? Did I have to talk to an NPC to get the quest, or turn it in? Was I able to explore the world on my own, or was I guided from one place to another? Am I able to climb, swim, jump the same way? These are all important questions, and most of the time, you will see that there are differences, even small ones. Those my friend, are still innovations. Speak up, be heard, dont be afraid to tell a Developer that you dont like the change, or would like to see it done differently, but dont be that guy on the internet that everyone laughs at because you dont know the difference between something thats changed and something thats entirely new. Invention and innovation, two different things.

  Aeonblades

Elite Member

Joined: 10/12/12
Posts: 1074

1/31/13 10:32:44 AM#2
I kind of see where you are coming from, but I haven't really witnessed what you are talking about on these forums. First a game company has to invent an idea, which hasn't been done in MMOs....phew...in who knows how long. All the games that have come out the last 3-5 years have Innovated earlier games and brought nothing new really to the table. Not a bad thing, but the invention part of MMO's was in the past, unless a company nuts up and tries something completely different, which hasn't really happened (succesfully) since WoW.

Currently Playing: Rift, ESO, EQ1, Various betas
Have played: You name it.

  VengeSunsoar

Elite Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4329

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

1/31/13 11:20:11 AM#3

That is only part of the definition.  It can and does mean something new.  Invention is innovation, innovation is not always invention.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/innovation

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Rayshe

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/30/11
Posts: 1291

1/31/13 11:25:02 AM#4

The other problem you will run into specially when TSW and GW2 crowds get togeather is the denial of all Innovation on the other side. It's along the terms of, If its not our game its not innovative. My arguement has long since been TSW is More innovative however GW2 still made some Innovations aswell. the problem is, a GW2 player would jump in afterwards saying that TSW has absolutely no innovations where as GW2 is the massiah of innovation. Which would quickly be followed by a TSW player doing the same as a GW2 player afterwards.

 

This tends to be what happens in most threads.

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.

  VengeSunsoar

Elite Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4329

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

1/31/13 11:33:32 AM#5
Of course, as I think it was Icewhite that said early, there are lots of innovations to see when you like them. 

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Edeus

Novice Member

Joined: 6/10/10
Posts: 513

1/31/13 11:36:15 AM#6
Most people will agree with you OP.  And according to forum rules: a fair and reasonable thread will be quickly pushed off the front page in favor of bickering and pointless threads.

Taru-Gallante-Blood elf-Elysean-Kelari-Crime Fighting-Imperial Agent

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5356

I dare you to pin a label on me.

1/31/13 12:15:24 PM#7
Its not like people don't understand. More like they refuse to even try for some angst reason or another.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  VengeSunsoar

Elite Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4329

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

1/31/13 12:23:10 PM#8

Hmm I would say they do understood as current accepted definition of innovation does not agree with the OP.  It is not just a new way doing things, it can definately be a invention.

edit - However many people ignore both, or only look at the invention aspect and the ignore doing things in a new way, or updated way...

Quit worrying about other players in a game and just play.

  Scottgun

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/05/07
Posts: 340

1/31/13 12:25:34 PM#9
I was about to say, may be we should start a post. "Lie or error? Do you know the difference?"

How not to sell me on a game: "And most people that make it past the tutorial seem to appreciate [x game's] uniqueness, even if they don't find it fun."

  Scalpless

Elite Member

Joined: 3/22/07
Posts: 1228

1/31/13 12:34:34 PM#10

I've seen this a lot lately. Especially when people are trying to prove GW2's DEs aren't innovative, although I guess GW2 is kind of a hot topic lately, so that might be the reason.

Originally posted by Rayshe

The other problem you will run into specially when TSW and GW2 crowds get togeather is the denial of all Innovation on the other side. It's along the terms of, If its not our game its not innovative. My arguement has long since been TSW is More innovative however GW2 still made some Innovations aswell. the problem is, a GW2 player would jump in afterwards saying that TSW has absolutely no innovations where as GW2 is the massiah of innovation. Which would quickly be followed by a TSW player doing the same as a GW2 player afterwards.

Yes, TSW also innovates. Mostly in dungeons (no trash) and investigation missions.

Edit: I think it's a natural result of trying to prove a game you dislike subjectively sucks objectively. No matter what you think about TSW or GW2 or WoW, they're not awful games. Despite this, some people hate seeing a game they dislike personally get attention, so they have to make up crap to discredit it. While they're doing this, they'll use "lack of innovation" in the same way they'd use "WoW clone" or "tab-targeting themepark" or any other abstract descrition that can be tailored to mean almost anything you want it to mean.

  maplestone

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

1/31/13 6:41:07 PM#11
I've never seen these words used in a way that made me uncomfortable.
  User Deleted
1/31/13 6:47:39 PM#12

How I often see the term used in the industry: (humor)

Innovation - Doing the same thing the other guys are doing with minor variation, but backed by an impressive press release from the marketing department on how fantastic and game changing it is in your game.

 

  craftseeker

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/11/09
Posts: 611

1/31/13 7:35:13 PM#13

.... and then there is the whole value judgement thing.

They all have differences from other games in the genre.  If the game is newer and you like the change it is an "innovation" or a "quality of life" thing.  If you disapprove of the difference or see it as having no relevance at all you will label it as something else entirely.  This also happens within a game as people evaluate changes made in patches.  The number of times I have ranted about the iniquity of some proposed or just introduced change in a game I am playing only to be told it is "innovative" or a "quality of life change"  I do not wish to remember.

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18355

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

1/31/13 9:08:30 PM#14
Many of these so called innovations are a step backward in my book, maybe they should be called dinnovations?

"The discrepancy between what we know is possible and what we currently have to choose from is beyond disappointing" - GeezerGamer
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  Scot

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/10/03
Posts: 4732

2/01/13 4:18:00 AM#15

The word innovation can be used two ways. The first indicates a development of an invention, a refinement. The second indicates using an invention in a novel way.

 

Television was an invention. HD Television was a development. Teletext was an innovation.

Airplane was an invention. Jumbo jets were a development. Human-powered flight was a innovation. Steal technology ws an innovation.

Telephone was an invention. Cell phones were a development. Texting was an innovation. Bluetooth was an innovation.

 

There is a difference between technological development and technological innovation. But I accept the word innovation is widely use to cover both aspects of future advances in a technology.

 

  rounner

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/07/06
Posts: 499

2/01/13 4:39:55 AM#16
The Jet engine was an invention. HD television is built upon inventions such as Plasma and LCD displays. Is your point that GW2 is a praise worthy game? I just see a handfull of straw.
  Vannor

Elite Member

Joined: 8/11/03
Posts: 2884

2/01/13 4:58:46 AM#17
Originally posted by aslan132

Television was an invention. HD Television was an innovation.

Airplane was an invention. Jumbo jets were an innovation. 

Telephone was an invention. Cell phones were innovation.

If you are going to lecture people at least make sure you yourself understand what you are going on about.

Telephone was an innovation of Telegraphy. Cell phones (full-duplex mode; asynchronous communication) were an innovation of Two-way Radio (synchronous communication) which was an innovation of Wireless Telegraphy (Radio) which was an innovation of Telegraphy. If you want to go really deep then Electrical Telegraphy was an innovation of Optical Telegraphy, things like smoke signals.

Television was an innovation of the Telephonoscope which was an innovation of the Telephone. Broadcast Television (wireless) was an innovation of Wireless Telegraphy (Radio).

Airplanes were an innovation of Gliders which were an innovation of simple Kites.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5356

I dare you to pin a label on me.

2/01/13 8:08:34 AM#18
It is also ironic when someone claims there's nothing innovative about modern games and in the same post proposes we go back to the old-school games.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  Phaserlight

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/18/04
Posts: 638

Do you want to improve the world? I don't think it can be done. -Lao Tzu

2/01/13 9:46:28 AM#19

How about a n-fold delineation between levels of newness in games?  It's a veritable spectrum!

Invention

Innovation

Refinement

Reinforcement

Replay

MMORPGs were an invention.  There were many innovations in the genre in the early 2000's.  Today, MMORPG game designers should aim toward Innovation and Refinement.

edit: Finally, us old-skool vets will be Replaying the classics and Reinforcing it here. 

"To be what you are not, experience what you are not." -Saint John of the Cross
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  niceguy3978

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/14/06
Posts: 1963

2/01/13 9:53:43 AM#20
Originally posted by Scottgun
I was about to say, may be we should start a post. "Lie or error? Do you know the difference?"

 Oh lord, I've had those debates on here too, you end up with the same nitpicking and people trying to redefine what the word "is" is.

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