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News & Features Discussion  » [Dev Journal] General: Have MMOs Become Too Easy?

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391 posts found
  SBFord

Associate Editor - News Manager

Joined: 6/28/10
Posts: 12848

 
OP  6/27/13 7:44:21 PM#1

One of the debates that rages in the MMO-space these days is whether or not MMOs have become to simplistic. In an exclusive developer blog, Red 5's Mark Kern discusses the subject from his very unique perspective. See what he's got to say before heading to the comments to leave your thoughts.

It all started with the drive to make MMOs, which in the EQ and Ultima days were a niche and hard core game, more accessible. Accessibility was the mantra when I was leading the World of Warcraft team. We labored over the user interface for the game, going through many iterations, to find one that would be easy and intuitive for players new to the genre. We created a massive number of quests to lead the player through the world, making sure that they never had to think about what to do next. 

Read more of Mark Kern's Have MMOs Become Too Easy?

Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
Follow me on Twitter: @MMORPGMom

  Xarko

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/10/11
Posts: 374

6/28/13 8:09:50 AM#2
Not necessarily easy, but they became SIMPLE.
  deamian

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/12/12
Posts: 66

6/28/13 8:10:52 AM#3
Time is valuable, lately everything is centered around that concept. I want another game like Everquest that steals away my entire evening to get progress, not a game that I progress through the whole game in one evening.
  sindur

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/12
Posts: 11

6/28/13 8:20:18 AM#4
Play Darkfall Unholy Wars, its a game where you dont get hand held, you have to figure things out on your own or ask other people who is playing how to improve you skills.
  david361107

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/18/08
Posts: 282

6/28/13 8:22:14 AM#5

I've been talking about his ever sense WOW went easy mode. Back in VWOW things were not so easy and there were millions playing it then. It wasn't until Cat when everything got stupid easy that the subs started to drop off, was this the reason? who knows, blizzard maybe.

 

Peace

Lascer

  Kuro1n

Novice Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 774

6/28/13 8:23:32 AM#6
Simple and easy, everyone gets everything served on silver platters. Games should be challenging and what is the meaning of having the epic weapon if everyone else also has the epic weapon? MMORPGs became too much of games and too little of worlds, every company is trying to make a balanced game with esportz for all the cool kids because that is what is popular these days. I'm not bitter at all.
  xAPOCx

Elite Member

Joined: 10/25/12
Posts: 812

6/28/13 8:26:16 AM#7
Originally posted by Xarko
Not necessarily easy, but they became SIMPLE.

I dont see the difference

  Kuro1n

Novice Member

Joined: 1/03/07
Posts: 774

6/28/13 8:27:46 AM#8
Originally posted by xAPOCx
Originally posted by Xarko
Not necessarily easy, but they became SIMPLE.

I dont see the difference

Noncomplex vs hard. Complex might be more related to knowledge while hard means it takes skill to play properly etc... (well thats how I read it anyway).

  xAPOCx

Elite Member

Joined: 10/25/12
Posts: 812

6/28/13 8:28:10 AM#9

Have MMOs Become Too Easy?

 

 

Short answer is yes.

  wordiz

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/13/12
Posts: 481

6/28/13 8:28:50 AM#10
Yes.

http://thewordiz.wordpress.com/

  xAPOCx

Elite Member

Joined: 10/25/12
Posts: 812

6/28/13 8:34:51 AM#11
Originally posted by Kuro1n
Originally posted by xAPOCx
Originally posted by Xarko
Not necessarily easy, but they became SIMPLE.

I dont see the difference

Noncomplex vs hard. Complex might be more related to knowledge while hard means it takes skill to play properly etc... (well thats how I read it anyway).

lol still dont see the difference. Easy and Simple are one in the same when talking about game play relating to MMOs. For me it is anyway. Not going to get all philosophical on these 2 words. No reason for it. Easy and Simple are the 2 words i would use if i were asked to rate the level of difficulty in understanding this topic.

 

"Have MMOs Become too Easy?"

 

A Easy, Simple answer to that is YES!

  Tierless

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/01/08
Posts: 2090

joie de vivre

6/28/13 8:38:37 AM#12
Game difficulty is a reflection of what the developer thinks of us the players. I am sad to think of what the MMO devs think of fans of this once proud genre. We have fallen so far.

mmorpg.com/blogs/Xobdnas

  me0n

Apprentice Member

Joined: 6/28/13
Posts: 1

6/28/13 8:51:00 AM#13

Yes and no. EQ was (is) very special, it's the only mmo that has literally had me on the edge of my seat. It also had a bucket load of sitting around waiting though. Serious hours upon hours of waiting, and grind groups where you barely think.

EQ did a lot of stuff right though. As you mentioned in the article, dying in the noob zones was something that happened lots and that was great. It also had mobs that would follow you across a zone, and the way the zones were laid out this invariably meant you weren't invis and would aggro other mobs, and this added to the excitement. On that, there were "trains to zone" where some poor sucker would have dragged half the zone to a zone exit, escape, leaving a bucket load of angry mobs wandering back to their starting points, usually eating players they found on the way.

 

I like what WoW has,  in the structured missions that lead you through, I'd just like to see the gameplay changed to make it more exciting, make everything less safe. I liked going to one of the non combat zones in EQ to chill, but in any zone with mobs, you were always at risk.

When is WoW 2 coming btw? It must be due.

 
  st3v3b0

Apprentice Member

Joined: 7/09/04
Posts: 124

6/28/13 8:53:51 AM#14
Absolutely.  They've become more time consuming with less complexity and fun.
  bcbully

Elite Member

Joined: 3/03/12
Posts: 6971

6/28/13 8:54:31 AM#15
Yes. 
  Kezzadrix

Apprentice Member

Joined: 5/21/10
Posts: 87

6/28/13 8:55:17 AM#16

damn, I fell for it.  I believed this was an article regarding one of the biggest problems plaguing current MMOs but it was really a clever way of misleading me into an advertisement for Firefall. 

It's too bad that in most cases it's not up to developers on what is done.  Easy games that are accessible to all types/ages of gamers bring in the most players and their money so that's what we end up with.  I am glad however that some developers are starting to take notice of this problem, even if it has taken a really long time.

  SavageHorizon

Hard Core Member

Joined: 1/14/13
Posts: 1547

6/28/13 8:57:42 AM#17

Nope OP, if you choose to play these simple mmo's that do the thinking for you ie GW2-NWN-RIFT and soon to be TESO.

Play Age Of Wushu, Vanguard, WurmOnline the list goes on.

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  User Deleted
6/28/13 9:00:34 AM#18
Duh, of course they they have. Excepting the sandbox games.
 
  Cymdai

Novice Member

Joined: 6/05/05
Posts: 1082

It's my job to be objective, it's my right to have an opinion.

6/28/13 9:03:40 AM#19

The short answer: Yes, absolutely.

A brief explanation (as I'm at work): There's no "checkpoints" anymore, because player skill isn't a factor. When I say checkpoints, I mean a point in the game where your ability as an individual/group need to be tested. That does NOT mean what every modern MMO acts like it means: a blatant gut-check on your gear. Gear, in fact, should have nearly nothing to do with it. Rather, it should be a tooth-and-nail fight that requires a lot of skill, and a little luck. You should be able to lose to more than "Whoops, I pulled 3 mobs instead of 2!"

The only game that had anything like this in recent memory was FFXI. The Genkai quests were brutal, but in order to keep leveling, you had to complete them; 4 times! Then, if you wanted to keep leveling to the level cap, you had to defeat Maat; a vicious, 1 v 1 mirror match of your class vs. a substantially stronger foe. It was mind-numbing, but when you did FINALLY beat Maat, it was like "That... was amazing." It ensured you understood your class and it's limitations to the fullest.

More importantly, pain-staking difficulty builds community. When you create prbolems that people can't solve by themselves, guess what they do? They interact. You can see this even in the most casual MMO's out there. "Hey, I need to kill this boss... help me out?" "Sure." You see it happen all the time. The problem is, once said boss is dead, there's absolutely no reason to continue grouping, so people don't. That relative ease for the 98% of the game conditions the solo mentality, whereas if it was 98% challenging content, group play would be more beneficial.

Waiting for something fresh to arrive on the MMO scene...

  Battlerock

Apprentice Member

Joined: 12/12/11
Posts: 731

6/28/13 9:05:32 AM#20
It's different for everyone.

I will use Wrath of the Lich King as my example. I was introduced to the lich king in the awesome cinematic wow put out. I bought the my goal was to defeat him. While leveling and gaining new skills, I will admit defeating him wasnt always on my mind. Once I level capped started raiding and finally defeated him. I quit the game. Now I logged in time to time but it was never the same. All the wind had been taken from my sails and I had no drive because my goal had been accomplished. Now in the age of easy mode, I dont even bother with a goal like defeating a raid boss. It's not rewarding enough. I guess you say the Lich King is getting the last laugh.
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