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General Discussion 

News & Features Discussion  » [Column] General: MMO Development Needs Change

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126 posts found
  grummz

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/07/07
Posts: 56

7/12/13 12:58:08 PM#41
Originally posted by Razeekster
No offense but I don't see how a developer whose own game is awash with problems can talk critically about other MMOs. FireFall was in beta for how many years? The game was practically empty when I tried it due to all the problems people have had with it...

 2 years of beta, starting a year after we announced, following the same methods outlined here in my article. Also, Firefall is jam packed with players and we've had to increase our servers. I would say you are entitled to your opinion, except for the fact that you fail to extend me the same courtesy.

 

Follow me on <a href="https://twitter.com/grummz">Twitter: @Grummz</a>

  Ozivois

Novice Member

Joined: 4/17/10
Posts: 599

7/12/13 1:25:18 PM#42

OP makes multiple observations (complaints) with no solutions offered other than to include more use of focus groups, an old-school and still effective way to get opinions on your product.

These game developers need to hire Systems Engineers to lead their projects. Systems Engineers know how to combine a developer's vision with the expectations of the subscriber and how to make different systems within the game work well together.

  Razeekster

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 1868

May the game be ever in your favor.

7/12/13 1:34:34 PM#43
Originally posted by grummz
Originally posted by Razeekster
No offense but I don't see how a developer whose own game is awash with problems can talk critically about other MMOs. FireFall was in beta for how many years? The game was practically empty when I tried it due to all the problems people have had with it...

 2 years of beta, starting a year after we announced, following the same methods outlined here in my article. Also, Firefall is jam packed with players and we've had to increase our servers. I would say you are entitled to your opinion, except for the fact that you fail to extend me the same courtesy.

 

How have I failed to "extend you the same courtesy?" I haven't even supported or not supported your opinion so I have in no way invalidated you.

Smile

  Rusque

Elite Member

Joined: 6/08/10
Posts: 1648

7/12/13 1:40:54 PM#44

Yes, beta testers do need to provide feedback and help developers hone their game. That's what beta has always been for.

Too many developers have been using beta as an early launch, or as as quick marketing tool.

Kinda like . . . you guys at Red 5!

How can you write this while you go into open beta with cash shop online? And paid beta access prior to that?

On top of that, you release what is one of the buggiest beta's I've seen in a really really long time.

However, I do have to say, you guys obviously know how to build a smooth as butter game engine. You did it with WoW and you've done it with Firefall. It plays so well, it's like silk. Too bad you barely have a chance to enjoy the game because half the things in it don't work! I want to upgrade a piece of my gear? Re-log 75 times. Nice.

  bbbb42

Novice Member

Joined: 10/16/12
Posts: 291

7/12/13 1:46:32 PM#45

That's all good and what not, but you need to have a plan. Do you have a plan? You can have all the nice ideas in the world, but if you don't have a plan your gonna fail and just doing "esports" is not a plan. From what I've seen so far your plan is esports+ innovation except that's not a plan.  Your entire plan revovles around esports, so essentially instead of imitating wow you're imitating Riot. The innovation part is fps instead of arenapvp, but there's one big problem with your plan esports+innovation does not equal mmo.

Of course its easy for me to judge sitting at home in my chair, good luck to you.

  Apraxis

Elite Member

Joined: 9/28/05
Posts: 1424

7/12/13 2:14:21 PM#46
Originally posted by Hjamnr
Here you go, Mark; Exactly what you're asking for:  Camelot Unchained

Yeap. Some Kickstarter like CU, or Star Citizen, or Pathfinder are going this way. BUT, they have a much smaller budget(even with StarCitzizen funded with over 10 million from player and mayber another 10 million from other sources) and are crowd funded in the first place. And it remains to be seen how that work out in the end, and how much the early alpha/beta tester are indeed involved in that process.

But it is much more difficulty for a usual financed project, and even more, if you got a lot of invested money and a big publisher behind you.

Although those crowed funded project could work out long term, especially if you do not stop developing, investing, and polishing your game after the more or less official release and more money incoming. To some similarity like CCP with EvE has done it... but then you need really a project with a lot of long term value. And most users are not that forgiving if you undertake large changes to an existing project.

Nevertheless i am more than curious to see how that three games(and other kickstarter, but especially those 3) turn out in the end.

  dalewj

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/12
Posts: 48

7/12/13 2:18:56 PM#47
Originally posted by Jatar

  However, a while ago, when we put it up on Kickstarter and showed what we CLEARLY explained was Pre-Alpha, players threw a fit about the graphics, and we are still dealing with that negative response.  If we let players in to play at Alpha can you imagine the complaints about placeholder graphics we would then get?  The vast majority of players play lip service to better game play, but then blast developers on the graphics, even if they are told they are placeholder or pre-alpha.

I think makes the point that not everyone is a beta tester.  Some of us can handle bad graphics for the sake of gameplay testing, some can't.   It is something where you have to not be afraid of firing your testers.  Make a rule that tester has to spend X amount of time and give X amount of feedback to progress to the next testing stage.  Also I think good testers can easily be passed from project to project as used to happen in the good old C&C testing days.

MMORPGer - Current game: http://AfterWorld.ru .
Author of Diaries of Afterworld- http://www.jconsult.com/afterworld and the Outside Sci-Fi series- http://www.jconsult.com/outside

  dalewj

Advanced Member

Joined: 8/24/12
Posts: 48

7/12/13 2:21:11 PM#48
Originally posted by Ozivois

These game developers need to hire Systems Engineers to lead their projects. Systems Engineers know how to combine a developer's vision with the expectations of the subscriber and how to make different systems within the game work well together.

 

Really?  I have been a software and gaming tester for nearly 25 years and I have only seen a hand full of such enlightened people.  System Engineers think they know what's right, but they need people to test their knowledge and tell them what it looks like from the other side (Note Windows 8.0)

MMORPGer - Current game: http://AfterWorld.ru .
Author of Diaries of Afterworld- http://www.jconsult.com/afterworld and the Outside Sci-Fi series- http://www.jconsult.com/outside

  Moirae

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/19/06
Posts: 2575

7/12/13 2:32:01 PM#49

The first thing I want to say to this is that its the game developers that are obsessed with graphics, not the players. What YOU are spending money on are things that players aren't asking for. You make games as absolutely casual as you possibly can making leveling and accomplishments mean nothing. In most MMO's, you can reach top level in less than a week (sometimes only a few days) making the accomplishment mean nothing at all. 

 

The second thing is that, in what world is the features becoming more? You people have cut back the features offerings, not added. The only things you care about are pvp and linear story progression pve. We no longer have actual game worlds, real housing has gone totally poof, even the search functions in the brokers are so primitive it's disgusting.

 

Even puzzles in games are almost non-existent. In most MMO's we can't go under water or in to the sky. Most MMO's have invisible walls in spite of the promise that we'd be able to go anywhere that we've been receiving for decades from devs.

 

Whole world games, where we can do and be anything we want, don't exist.

 

And you overbalance all classes so that they are almost carbon copies of each other with different graphics and maybe a few skills so you can try to claim that one is a healer and one is a warrior yet both are capable of almost exactly the same thing making the distinction totally moot. 

 

You don't need to create such things bonus xp for grouping, if you actually made it so that the classes were still different. 

 

You game devs don't listen to the players at all. 

 

So more features? Only in your itty bitty heads. You stopped listening to the gamers many years ago. 

 

You bet the MMO is in trouble. And you devs are the reason. Here's an idea... how about you actually listen to the things players want from the games instead of ignore us for the sake of your pocket books? 

 
An MMO should feel like a great thrill ride, but you devs managed to kill it. 
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

7/12/13 3:02:16 PM#50

The market will take care of itself.  When the industry stagnates, Minecraft happens.

  Shocktor

Novice Member

Joined: 2/01/11
Posts: 2

7/12/13 3:28:48 PM#51
[mod edit]

You are the exact user he is calling out in the article.  Beta means beta.  Unfinished.  It is in development and has reached beta stage.  Also, this beta has been ongoing for two years.

This is no different than some kickstarter asking for money -- they just do it through their starter packs.  Basically asking you to have faith in them giving you a quality product after beta.

  evolpc

Novice Member

Joined: 7/10/09
Posts: 74

7/12/13 3:40:32 PM#52
Am I the only person that thinks you loose all credibility to say anything like that when you SELL a product that you acknowledge is in an unfinished state? Perhaps people would be more inclined to treat it as a BETA if they weren't selling it like a finished product. They use the term BETA to their own ends whenever convenient for them. And it is VERY different than kickstarter so just stop it.
  Fourplay

Novice Member

Joined: 8/31/10
Posts: 124

7/12/13 3:53:32 PM#53

Final Fantasy XIV had a three year beta 2010.5-2013.

If other developers agree with this Mark fellow. Then they need to start quality testing immediately.  Have about a bunch people apply to be testers and fill in their resume, with a list of ideas or wants in the mmo space.

Pay them by promising them free lifetime access to the mmo after release, require a standard hours logged in and a way to track it. Use skype or some other service for constant communication between testers and devs.

  Jadedangel1

Hard Core Member

Joined: 5/25/13
Posts: 183

7/12/13 3:59:41 PM#54

I don't think the article should have been calling out players at all. It is the industry itself that redefined beta and what to expect in terms of quality and content. After all, its not like players have control of when a new game is released or what stage it is in when it is. But after doing things a certain way after so many years now, its no wonder players expect things to be a certain way. And just because a dev is behind the curve development wise, you can't expect most players to change their thinking so as to excuse slow paced progress as they hide behind the tag of "being innovative". That's like announcing to the world that you are reinventing the television and giving out TVs to try them, but not expect the same people to complain when all they are given are half working TVs with rabbit ear antennas as you take your time making it "cable ready".

 

As others mentioned, I too can't fully agree with this article after what Firefall has done. Don't get me wrong, I like the game a lot, and do see somewhat how the open cash shop could be justified as a tool to help with funding similar to a kickstarter...if it was left at that. But how can people keep hiding behind the "its only beta, not this soft launch crap post-WoW players got used to" when I saw as many ads and hype centered around the game as Rift and Aion did when announcing free to play and expect players to think differently? Especially here on mmorpg.com, Firefall banners are everywhere. And yet the game barely has even half the content those other games have in just one expansion. If you want players to stop acting like its a soft launch and not the early beta that it is, then please stop advertising it as such.

 
 
 
  Squeak69

Novice Member

Joined: 1/21/13
Posts: 959

cheese cheese wheres da bloody cheese

7/12/13 4:50:00 PM#55
Originally posted by Shocktor
[mod edit]

You are the exact user he is calling out in the article.  Beta means beta.  Unfinished.  It is in development and has reached beta stage.  Also, this beta has been ongoing for two years.

This is no different than some kickstarter asking for money -- they just do it through their starter packs.  Basically asking you to have faith in them giving you a quality product after beta.

im sorry but if your going to charge for entry you cant rightly use the excuse its in beta, if he truly felt this way he wouldn't have charged for entry.

 

im sorry I don't care what anyone says if you are confident enough in your game to charge for it then it cant be considered beta anymore, if you truly think its beta, then don't be charging people for stuff in it, or entry into beta.

cause people who bought those founders packs where not expecting to buy into a beta that would last so many years in beta still, they where expecting a almost finished product.

 

you want to use the its still beta excuse then make sure its closed, and no one in beta had to pay to get in it.

 

F2P may be the way of the future, but ya know they dont make them like they used to
Proper Grammer & spelling are extra, corrections will be LOL at.

  Aison2

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/05
Posts: 600

7/12/13 5:19:54 PM#56
Originally posted by thegreatestagain
I do NOT want gamers to have a voice in game development, educated, trained, experienced, intelligent professionals Only

 

Its true that most suggestions are bad on forums and many suggestions are completly oblivious for the cost they would carry but you can still use the average player to tell you if the game works or crashes.

Pi*1337/100 = 42

  Karahandras

Novice Member

Joined: 8/11/08
Posts: 1653

All it takes for evil to succeed is for the good to stand by and do nothing

7/12/13 5:26:18 PM#57

Originally posted by evolpc
Biggest load of crap ever coming from a guy that just crapped out a half cooked beta to try to grab cash for his sinking ship and prior to that promoted paid beta. So hypocritical it's not even funny. Bu hey, he got me for like $100 for a game that barely functions. Just can't stand to see him here writing these articles like he is some sort of authority on development reform.

Originally posted by evolpc
Am I the only person that thinks you loose all credibility to say anything like that when you SELL a product that you acknowledge is in an unfinished state? nope Perhaps people would be more inclined to treat it as a BETA if they weren't selling it like a finished product. They use the term BETA to their own ends whenever convenient for them. And it is VERY different than kickstarter so just stop it.

tbh this seems like another firefall excuse article to me.

  Wizardry

Elite Member

Joined: 8/27/04
Posts: 6546

Perhaps tomorrow will be better.

7/12/13 5:39:35 PM#58

I finally agree on a couple things he mentions.Yes the cost is enormous and yes it is a struggle to catch up in features compared to older games.

However how many games actually have features outside of following linear quests around then end game raiding?Then of course crafting,bu that has been a feature from day 1,so no catching up there either.

All these older games did was give us the basic platform to allow them to further tweak and be creative.However what i have seen is these older games put MORE effort in to the systems,than newer game.Everything  i see in newer games always shouts out "done to speed up production".

I strongly disagree with the week to create a creature.What Wow displayed should have been 2-3 days maximum.I have seen guys post videos of them opening up a program and creating a animated creature from scratch in a matter of a couple hours.No they did not have a ton of vertices or anything fancy,but when i look at most creatures in games,it was identical.Moving elbow or shoulder joints,moving knee/hip joints and that is about it.Some of these designers just slap a lazy texture over the whole thing and cal lit a ROCK creature.

Yes i could see it taking time if they actually put all the work into the models and then shader's and tons of animated sequences,however many games look to be doing very little with their efforts.Then how about the scripted AI,i see again a lot of lazy efffort.Most if not all of these games have scripts that allow them to simply check off properties for every creature,they don't have to go in and individually script each one.This again takes effort to make sure there are lots of choices beyond the simple aggressive or not script.

There is ONLY one area i feel games need to improve and yes it might take added work but it is the most important.Quit with gimmicks and salesmen pitch about "we have the best raiding game bs",give me IN DEPTH systems.Take that simple sword swing and turn it into MANY different options.Take that simple crafting box with insert item here and press button and give us some depth and creativity.

 

http://www.youtube.com/user/Napolianboo#p/u/15/rCYLLQCNc1w
Samoan Diamond

  Razeekster

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 7/09/11
Posts: 1868

May the game be ever in your favor.

7/12/13 6:47:50 PM#59
Originally posted by Shocktor
Originally posted by evolpc
Biggest load of crap ever coming from a guy that just crapped out a half cooked beta to try to grab cash for his sinking ship and prior to that promoted paid beta. So hypocritical it's not even funny. Bu hey, he got me for like $100 for a game that barely functions. Just can't stand to see him here writing these articles like he is some sort of authority on development reform.

You are the exact user he is calling out in the article.  Beta means beta.  Unfinished.  It is in development and has reached beta stage.  Also, this beta has been ongoing for two years.

This is no different than some kickstarter asking for money -- they just do it through their starter packs.  Basically asking you to have faith in them giving you a quality product after beta.

That's why there is absolutely no excuse for the state that this game is in right now. Two years of beta and they released it in this state? There is no way you can defend this game. I have seen it being mismanaged from the get-go with there need to spend huge amounts of money on things that weren't necessary. One example that jumps to mind right now is there huge ass MGU gaming bus. And for some reason they also needed to spend money on hiring comic book writers and artists to make a comic book for their game instead of focusing all that money into the game. Oh, and they also hired Lee Reherman (a former American football player) to cosplay for their game.

 

I just saw a huge amount of waste going on with this game when it came to how money was managed (or mismanaged in this case) and it makes me sad because indie developers would kill to have that kind of money to make their game the best that it could possibly be.

Smile

  MondoA2J

Novice Member

Joined: 3/18/13
Posts: 259

"You are mine, I'm yours, and if we die, we die. But first we'll live." Ygritte

7/12/13 7:45:17 PM#60

So I think your talking about Steam.

It does this very thing with indie games and puts players directly involved with the development process.

I completely agree with your article. Also you noticed me ranting about lowering costs on your last post. I am glad you answered my question.

Fact still remains that 8 weeks for a single monster creation is slightly ridiculous.

I am not a developer so I can't say much but if that really is the excuse then alot of developers should be ashamed of themselves as far as the over all looks of things. Very few MMO's actually look like they took 8 weeks to create anything almost. Only game that I have seen that looks this polished as of late is ARR. No offense even Firefall looks....meh.

I hope an MMO developer reads this and does what you suggested though. Think it would be very interesting.

 
 

MMORPG Gamers/Developers need a reality check!

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