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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » What does depth in an mmo mean to you?

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67 posts found
  Destai

Elite Member

Joined: 8/31/09
Posts: 468

3/12/13 9:16:56 AM#21

Depth can be demonstrated in the following areas

1. Lore

Authentic and multi-facted lore is essential for depth. Take a look at settings like the Elder Scrolls - its world history is not objective. It's told from the perspective of the victors. Then we have the machinations of the Aedra and the Daedra, the various guilds, the books - it all lends to a rich and diverse setting.

To have lore-based depth, the setting has to be well thought, filled with symbolism, and controversy.

2. Character

Presumably, many people play MMOs to develop their characters. Whether it's growing an armor collection, exploring every nook and cranny, or leveling every skill, having something to develop your identity equates to depth. Games such as LoTRO and Vanguard all have incredibly in depth character systems. Being able to play your character in multiple ways, roleplaying, and crafting all contribute to character depth.

3. Economy

MMO depth can also be defined by its economic activity. When players are able to craft and trade they not only define themselves, but define the game. Economic activity can drive players to farm mobs, run dungeons, and band together to accomplish profitable goals. It can also ruin a game. Price stability is just as important as allowing players to make money. Developers can facilitate economic depth by providing tools like auction houses, item previews, and a good trade interface.

Current MMOs: Wildstar, Guild Wars 2, the Secret World, World of Warcraft

Past Loves: Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Everquest

  coretex666

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/03/12
Posts: 1799

"I shall take your position into consideration"

3/12/13 9:30:26 AM#22

Depth can be related to various aspects of the game, such as crafting, character progression, etc.

I think it is easier to provide some specific examples of particular game systems which can be considered as having depth rather than establishing a definition which would be somehow applicable in general and approved by everyone.

Currently playing: L2 Chronicle 4

  Sovrath

Elite Member

Joined: 1/06/05
Posts: 16945

3/12/13 9:39:11 AM#23

To me it means the presence of a variety of systems and attributes that when learned and mastered reveal additional connectsions/relationships that are not readily apparent but increase the gameplay possibilities.

I suppose one example could be the Necropoli and Catacombs in Lineage 2. Not only were they popular leveling spots but players could gather seals that could be turned in to either the Dusk or Dawn Priests (or whatever they were). They could also be sold if I remember correctly.

However, the control of dusk or dawn meant that the winner of the dusk/dawn competition would control those prime leveling spots. It also tied into the Siege/Castle system and I believe could affect the outcome of those events which of course meant that the caslte holder not only gained taxes from the surrounding towns but could also sell "seeds" to players who could then reap crops of mats from monsters when they turned them in.

This in turn fueled the crafting systems and also made money for the players and especially the castle holder. Additionally the castle holders could also reap money from fortress holders if the fortress holders aligned with them. If the Fortress holders did align with the castle holders then they would have access to their own special dungeons. additionaly the Castle holders had a special leveling dungeon as well.

Castle holders could also sell the right for non-castle holders to compete on their side in the dusk/dawn competitions thus increasing their chances of winning.

 

  jtcgs

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/28/04
Posts: 1843

3/12/13 9:45:20 AM#24
Originally posted by Merilirem

What does depth in an mmo mean to you?

 Depth?

Being able to choose no matter the situation.

That mob, I can use skill 1, 2 or 3 and be effective...instead of always chosing 1. Moreover, why should skills always have to be used in the same order to be effective instead of being different based on a mobs weakness? Because in most games mobs dont have weaknesses!

This area, maybe I dont want to play in this area...I want another. Give me options.

This sword...why is it always a god damn sword? Why cant I swap it out for a mace? There is no point in limiting a class to a single weapon type.

Hey I am a magic caster...why do I only get to chose between fire and ice?!? where is lightning, acid, earth, wind...

10 emotes? really...10? I want far more.

Hey, I am taking the time to level up my crafting skill, can I please have a larger variety of crap to make?

Depth, its rather simple, it means provide MORE not less. Less may be simple, but its also weak gameplay.

“I hope we shall crush...in its birth the aristocracy of our moneyed corporations, which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country." ~Thomes Jefferson

  nottuned

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/15/08
Posts: 93

3/12/13 9:48:11 AM#25
I remeber worlds being huge, now with insta ports and super mounts the worlds seems much smaller. Im always running into walls. I know travel should not be tedious, but something is lost for me and worlds seem to be shrinking. Mabye im just getting fat idk
  Venger

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/03/04
Posts: 1322

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3/12/13 10:32:16 AM#26

To me variety and depth are pretty similar.  There are two varities in a mmo game as I see it.  Varity in game play and variety within game features.

Variety in game play which should be a little easier then features, though most are so focued on combat this is usually non-existent.  UO had depth in game play because I could play a fisherman, smith, warrior, hunter, tailor.........  and be successful in my own way.

Variety within a feature is much more complex.  How do you give a players variety in experiences which in a single feature.  

Combat for example, I feel that combat could be much more diverse if developers wouldn't follow the narrow view of the holy trinity.  Roles could still be maintained without following the narrow definition of the trinity.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

3/12/13 10:40:55 AM#27

To me, "deep" means there exists gameplay beyond what the developers themselves anticipated.

 

  FromHell

Novice Member

Joined: 11/10/12
Posts: 1338

3/12/13 10:45:00 AM#28

fluff and housing like SWG had

 

a massive non linear world like Age of Conan has

 

Complicated mechanics like EvE has

 

voilà, MMO ultimate depth

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Best MMOs ever played: Ultima, EvE, SW Galaxies, Age of Conan, The Secret World
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  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 19156

3/12/13 10:45:26 AM#29
Originally posted by nottuned
I remeber worlds being huge, now with insta ports and super mounts the worlds seems much smaller. Im always running into walls. I know travel should not be tedious, but something is lost for me and worlds seem to be shrinking. Mabye im just getting fat idk

Huge != depth.

You can have a huge world with nothing to do .. that is not depth to me.

In fact, many games who have depth does not even have a world.

  blackcat35

Advanced Member

Joined: 2/05/07
Posts: 465

Developers of MMORPGS nerf us today so they can sell us tommorow what we had yesterday.

3/12/13 11:22:56 AM#30

To have depth you need to have some complexity.  Unlike alot of people, I don't think Eve was that complex.  The game was pretty simple.  Most mmorpgs don't have that much complexity.  Most 10 year olds could play a mmorpg easily enough.  Just because you get lost in a game and have alot of fun in it doesn't mean it is that complex/have that much depth.

limiting users to in game functions based on there level - doesn't translate into added complexity.  I don't think you could say that it adds any depth to Neverwinter if you cannot make dungeons until your 15th level unless you pay an extra fee.

If it takes you awhile to describe a game and all its various mechanisms, that still doesn't imply depth.  I would say that chess is deep.  Because you have diferent skill levels and although the rules of the game aren't that hard, the best move is not always obvious.  Conversely, Tic-tac-toe and even Checkers is comparably less deep.

I would say that AD&D 4th edition is shallow, while 3.5 is deeper.  I would say that DDO has some depth, although its probably harder to master than chess, ie chess is deeper.

Poker I don't think is that deep of a game on the surface, but if you look at the game deeper and being able to read people and know what they have without looking at there cards or cheating, its deeper than just the rules of the game.

Craps on the otherhand is not very deep.

Most mmorpgs don't have hidden complexity.  

 

 

 

 

 

==========================
The game is dead not, this game is good we make it and Romania Tv give it 5 goat heads, this is good rating for game.

  fivoroth

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/10/06
Posts: 2605

3/12/13 11:23:55 AM#31
Depth = time sink.

Mission in life: Vanquish all MMORPG.com trolls - especially TESO, WOW and GW2 trolls.

  waynejr2

Advanced Member

Joined: 4/12/11
Posts: 3709

RIP City of Heroes!

3/12/13 11:32:49 AM#32
The board game GO is a deep game.  The rules are simple but the effects of stone placement are elegantly interesting and varied.
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

3/12/13 11:38:02 AM#33
Originally posted by waynejr2
The board game GO is a deep game.  The rules are simple but the effects of stone placement are elegantly interesting and varied.

It's important to note though that games like GO are not created intentionally - they emerge over time as simply being the toy games experimented with that, over the ages, have turned out to be deep.

  VengeSunsoar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 3/10/04
Posts: 4689

Be Brief, Be Bright... Be Gone.

3/12/13 11:41:57 AM#34
Depth is the amount of meaningfull decisions a player is required to make.

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

  Homitu

Hard Core Member

Joined: 10/01/09
Posts: 2025

3/12/13 12:37:49 PM#35
Originally posted by Merilirem
Originally posted by Homitu

Depth is just an attribute that can be applied to any feature of a game.  Story can have depth or not.  Combat can have depth or not.  The character class and progression system can have depth or not.  Leveling can have depth or not.  

It's usually a broad statement and requires further explanation on part of the poster, just like it's counterpart, "shallow."  

This is exactly why I asked the question. Though your answer leaves alot of gray. If its an attribute then how do you add it to a game?

The point I was trying to make was that I don't think depth is "something" that you add to a game at all.  It's a word people use to describe the games they like; and it's usually an insufficient descriptor at that, often requiring further explanation as to what the person means.  Everybody means something a little different when they describe a part of a game as having depth.  Such is the nature of language. 

If you're trying to play the role of Socrates in this conversation, who continuously attempts to pry an adequate, universal definition of piety out of Euthyphro, just like Socrates, I'm not sure you're going to succeed.  Now if you just wish to gather a number of subjective accounts of how various individuals define "depth," in an effort to hone your own perception of the word, I think you'll succeed quite well on forums such as these.  But I don't think you'll find any one objective essence that can be added to a game to magically give it the mysterious quality depth. 

If I had to offer my own definition of depth in games, I would say it is that experience players have with a particular feature of a game where they feel like the game just continues to provide more and more layers of "stuff" to discover and master, beyond what is generally expected.   It's a highly interactive and immersive experience.  Depth's counterpart might be "generic" or "basic." 

  birdycephon

Novice Member

Joined: 8/08/09
Posts: 1327

Not Safe For Woona (NSFW)

3/12/13 12:45:28 PM#36
To me, depth is choices. Choices that shape your gameplay. Choices that open some doors while closing others. Forget quest lines, give me quest trees.
  RefMinor

Novice Member

Joined: 7/16/11
Posts: 3541

Hipster

3/12/13 12:54:45 PM#37
Having a world ourptside the lobby.
  Loktofeit

Elite Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 11845

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, Wildstar, and Combat Arms

3/12/13 1:03:23 PM#38
Originally posted by Sovrath

To me it means the presence of a variety of systems and attributes that when learned and mastered reveal additional connectsions/relationships that are not readily apparent but increase the gameplay possibilities.

I suppose one example could be the Necropoli and Catacombs in Lineage 2. Not only were they popular leveling spots but players could gather seals that could be turned in to either the Dusk or Dawn Priests (or whatever they were). They could also be sold if I remember correctly.

However, the control of dusk or dawn meant that the winner of the dusk/dawn competition would control those prime leveling spots. It also tied into the Siege/Castle system and I believe could affect the outcome of those events which of course meant that the caslte holder not only gained taxes from the surrounding towns but could also sell "seeds" to players who could then reap crops of mats from monsters when they turned them in.

This in turn fueled the crafting systems and also made money for the players and especially the castle holder. Additionally the castle holders could also reap money from fortress holders if the fortress holders aligned with them. If the Fortress holders did align with the castle holders then they would have access to their own special dungeons. additionaly the Castle holders had a special leveling dungeon as well.

Castle holders could also sell the right for non-castle holders to compete on their side in the dusk/dawn competitions thus increasing their chances of winning.

Great example.

  Beatnik59

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2128

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

3/12/13 1:03:34 PM#39

Depth, for me, is detail.

I usually interpret it in terms of the ability to be creative, and it usually starts with the character.   Do I have the ability to make a "virtual other" with a unique look, a variety of clothing, a variety of emotes and mannerisms for every context?

To me, CoH was the deepest MMO I played, because it had so many ways for players to make interesting characters, interesting hideouts and interesting story arcs.  But I realize that others might not think so, because that type of creativity isn't what they thing is "deep."

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  Benedikt

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Joined: 12/12/04
Posts: 1290

We live for The One, we die for The One.

3/12/13 1:22:42 PM#40
its quite hard to define and it will proly means something else to everyone. when i think about it, to me it means that the game not only has a lot of options, but those options are meaningful, support each other and probably have a lot of "suboptions/subsystems".
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