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All Posts by Scot

All Posts by Scot

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5227 posts found

You play for only 30 min a day and you expect to keep up with everyone else? Apart from the fact there would be no reason to spend more than 30 min in game, you are forcing the game to have very limited scope and aspirations.

The sad fact is that in five years time some players will be talking about 15 mins being the time you expect to be able to drop in and keep up with everyone else.

MMOs are not becoming too casual, that boat left about six years ago and is now a showboat that you come on for a brief go on the casino games that make up the easymode gameplay.


Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Scot

What has happened in MMOs has meant different things to different players. MMOs are smaller, P2W, built for only the first months play and easymode.

Apart from the graphics, UI and sometimes the combat systems; nothing has got better.

The too-easy complaint is legit, mostly because MMORPGs fail to offer a spread of challenges suitable to each player's personal challenge sweet spot.

For P2W, perhaps you'd like to cite a single scrap of evidence?  Or could we maybe agree that you can pay to accelerate progression (XP potions) in most F2P games, but rarely can you pay for outright stat upgrades or to beat the game's challenges?  (Beating a game's PVE challenges and winning in PVP are the only forms of winning in a MMORPG.)

How was Wildstar's endgame for you?  ESOs?  I assume you reached the very end in the first few months or you wouldn't criticize MMORPGs for only being built for the first few months.

Also don't you spend over half your time in combat in MMORPGs?  (Often more like 80%.)  So if you admit combat got better, isn't that the same as admitting 80% of the game got better?

XP potions are P2W, if you get up level more quickly and beat others in PvP, that's P2W. You can create the best gear in Lotro, the Legendary Weapon by buying components which you then turn into the best weapon you can get. Is that a "single scrap of evidence" for you?

Not all MMOs are casino and easymode. ESO is a fine MMO, but a cash shop is on the way, give it a year and it will be as bad as Lotro's.

You don't just fight in MMOs, you fight for a reason. That reason can be questing, PvP, raids. If the gameplay of say group roles does not get better, making MMOs have action combat does not make raids better. But you might like the combat style more.


What has happened in MMOs has meant different things to different players. MMOs are smaller, P2W, built for only the first months play and easymode.

Apart from the graphics, UI and sometimes the combat systems; nothing has got better.

AoC was a great MMO apart from needing to do "Villas" for about 10 levels in the mid to high levels. Today all we talk about how bad the cash shop is or how "fun" MMOs are. In hindsight "villas" does not seem that bad at all.
I mostly agree but its the industry which is going on as much about marketing as ourselves.

Originally posted by Gaendric

Originally posted by Scot Look at the latest announcement from WoW about how gold will allow you to play for Free. All these companies seem to do now is think of how to change their games from a marketing angle. Not a game design angle, that's why MMOs are in the state they are. ...   Game design includes the marketing angle by default.  Design is NOT fine art. Design is always goal oriented. Form follows function. Game design is not exempt from this.  The primary goal of a game (as of any other commercial product in any category) is to make money. Hence the design will help to optimize revenue/profit. Otherwise it would be bad design. Making a fun game for the target audience is obviously a big part of this, so "making it fun" is still important. It's not an "either or" situation. (But you have to keep the target audience part in mind when judging. If you are not in it, you hating the product and it's design principles is completely irrelevant and to be expected, it wasn't tailored to your preferences afterall)   Btw, this applies just as much to those cool KS projects too, where you could argue "they focus on fun before profit". They don't promise all those fun oldschool buzzword features by coincidence. That is also targeted and goal oriented design, aimed at a currently untapped (by the AAA products) audience. You just feel it prefers fun more because you happen to be in that audience and thus the design is catered to your taste. They will still try to maximize revenue/profit, just with other methods (those that are well accepted in this specific audience)

"In most threads here these days, there is almost always some discussion of monetization, payment model, or the game development industry. It seems to be getting increasingly rare to see discussions that remain focused on an actual game"

That's what the OP asked, that's what I explained, your explanation of marketing being part of design falls down when you consider we were not all talking about this ten years ago. Now that's all they talk about.

"The player doesn’t have to pay before trying the game. This gives the game a much better chance at first-month critical mass."

Which is one reason why they design for the first month not the twelve, they don't expect anyone to be there then. And so end game is often an afterthought.

"Early gains make a game more successful and more obviously worth supporting for the long-term."

Early design philosophy makes devs only think of the short term. They forget about the long term as they do not expect there to be one, or if there is they will have been let go by then.

"Even when done well, if people are noticing your pay options, then at that moment, and very briefly, they’re thinking about whether to spend money instead of just enjoying the game."

But that's what they want you to do, cash shop games would rather you spend all your time in the cash shop. that's inherent in their design. The fact you have to game to want to use the cash shop is a necessary nuisance.

"So in general, there’s not much of a reason to fear pay-to-win suddenly being introduced into your existing game because it’s a really bad business move and the clever in the industry won’t do it to you."

Yet P2W exists in nearly every game with a cash shop. It is so prevalent now commentators do not even think of XP potions and buying elements of a crafted weapon as P2W. They think you need a to be able to buy a box called "You have Won the Game" to call a cash shop P2W.

"I don’t personally have anything against pay-to-win games. I’ve played several good ones and lots of smaller ones for research purposes."

I wonder if David could tell us how many of those "F2P" MMOs he enjoyed where once seriously funded P2P MMOs that subsequently went F2P?

Look at the latest announcement from WoW about how gold will allow you to play for Free. All these companies seem to do now is think of how to change their games from a marketing angle. Not a game design angle, that's why MMOs are in the state they are. That's why we seem to be talking about this all the time OP, because the MMO companies are talking about it all the time.

This hallmarks the way MMO's now think about the games economy. MMO designers are not thinking about how to have a better crafting system or better in game trading. All they think about is how the economy will relate to the cash shop. In WoW's case how it relates to its F2P element of Pay for Free.

Far more players complain when it is too hard than do when it is too easy. But even if that was not the case easymode is part of the design philosophy "don't give them a reason to leave". Anything vaguely hard is seen as a reason why players go, and so easymode was born.
MMOS have gone so solo these days even 2+ would be a bonus. But it all depends on what the players are doing, problem is no matter what they are doing it can nearly always be done solo these days. How long before we get solo "raids"?
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Scot

Support classes need groups. Their whole concept goes out the window if groups are not central to MMO play. Welcome to modern solo-easymode MMOs, where everything was ditched to entice solo gamers to buy MMOs.

That's MMO history to be honest, they disappeared from new launches about 5 years ago.

Even MOBAs have support characters. What are you talking about?

Depends on what you define as a MMO. MOBA's have their gameplay more defined around groups, even if you are not actually in a group. FPS frequently uses support roles. A game like PS2 uses support, but that's a MMOFPS.

The problem comes from the difference between PvE and PvP and designing MMOs where you can level to the top without seeing another player, let alone grouping with them. It may be that games like MOBA's will make designers look again at support classes for mainstream MMOs. But they have gone down the route of every class can heal and so on for years now, that won't change any time soon.

Possibly the toughest support issue is crowd control, where its effects in PvP can be quite devastating. But if you want MMO PvE/PvP combat to be more varied and interesting you need support classes.


Originally posted by Ambrose99

Chris has the right of it. The subscription model is dead, and the evidence keeps stacking up higher and higher. Still doesn't mean it won't work for the outliers (WoW, FFXIV), but in order to truly do well with a sub, a company needs either millions of players, or (as was said) bank on very few and just be a niche game. 

And Chris is completely right about the "pressure" of playing, where Ryan seems too thick to understand the difference between a value and literally throwing money away. A subscription in sub-only games, you're only paying for one thing: time. If you don't feel like playing, and decide to play something else, or just spend you're time not playing anything, that time still ticks away. A single player game, sure, you might not get as many hours out of it, but once you buy a single player, that game is ALWAYS there to play. A single player game won't up and say "Oh! You haven't played me in a while, pay me more money to keep playing." 

And then on top of that, say you put in 150 hours into your MMO character, get max level, all the best stuff, but then get bored for a while, stop paying the sub, and play other games. Now to go back and play that character again you need to whip out the credit card again. Now they hold all the work you put in hostage until you pay up again.

There are too many gaming options out today that don't pull that scam that how people still fight for subs is beyond me.

How often do you go back to a character you have put 150 hours into? And when you go back the gap means you need to fork out for something to keep you at tier one, or you have to grind for most of your return. And those single player games that don't need anymore money to play, you have heard of DLC? You do realise that this is an evolving system, a system that is evolving to charge you more? How long before that optional dlc becomes a must have dlc? You must have seen the rise of multiplayer in 'solo' games. How prevalent it is now, what do you thing that will lead to? Has lead to already?

The cash shop has come to solo games, it wants your money and will ask you for money to keep playing. Now its just a must have new map. What will happen in five years time? Casino gameplay is now common in MMO, is that next for solo gaming?

There are many ways to pull a scam in gaming and P2P is not one of them. But is your only definition of a scam is making monthly payments when you might not be playing, I can see how you have come to that misconception.


Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Stone_Fountain
Originally posted by DMKano
Since when is a payment model a foundation for good community? Nonsense. Game design and guilds are the foundation of a good community.

If individuals do not need to trade for goods they find ingame, or go through the same troubles and tribulations as their peers due to xp pots, faster mounts, bought recipes and crafting components, bought skills and traits, hired henchmen. If they can purchase them in a cash shop it does change the dynamics of the community. Its left with just joining one another for group based questing/raiding and mass PVP fighting.

Your argument is built on several false premises. One, that using other people to reach an end is a decent (or even the only) foundation for a community. Two, that your cherry-picked list of items is the sole inventory of an item mall. There's plenty more, but... 

If the game is that shallow that 'grouping' is the closest it has to any form of meaningful social interaction, then YES, the community really doesn't grow. However, that has nothing to do with the existence or not of an item mall.

Payment model and game design effect community, guilds stand as a bastion against the changes that have occurred. You can continue your community in a guild no matter what crap they throw at you. And plenty has come our way, that list may have been cherry picked but it was spot on. Game design which involves interaction of players of any kind has been "streamlined", dropped or minimised in other words. Cash Shops do not like designing, crafting or building; doing anything yourself, they like paying and nothing else.

But guilds stand against all this commercialism and trivial gameplay. Until they get scrapped for social media groups that is, after all connecting to the real you and pinging your latest purchase is what it is all about. Not stupid old guild ethos.


Originally posted by DMKano
Originally posted by Adjuvant1
Originally posted by Dreamo84

Yes, because no one has ever lied on an application that cannot be verified. I know I've been an extensive closed alpha tester since the first MUD!

Your profile says you're 30.

People lie on their profiles too

Dammit will have to keep a low profile, my profile job is "World Guru" that may get rumbled. :)


Originally posted by filmoret

This whole discussion is based on the false definition of RPG.  You can't go against the definition of  word and create a thesis based on that very false definition.  It is like opening a debate on how cars freezing gasoline is killing our planet.  When cars run by burning gasoline and not freezing it.  Role Playing Game.  Its your fault you consider those quests and all that text to be completely meaningless.  You do realize those quests are actually doing things like saving the princess or helping a farmer walk safely to the store.  You expected everyone to use their imagination in a tabletop game and to ignore it completely in a mmo.


5 million people played tabletop rpg's and 1 billion people played graphical rpg's.  The billion define the genre and not the few million.

So if we are just going on numbers, the public decided what wines are best, not wine tasters. Veteran cars are rubbish, most people don't drive them. MacDonald's defines cuisine, more people eat there, simple as that.

Ridiculous. The larger group can have their own definition of what anything means, but they do not have the definitive definition. Nor do the smaller/original/more knowledgeable group, both are "correct" for those groups.

There was a time when saying you were only going to play games which where P2P seemed rather elitist or just unnecessary. But now the changes are so obvious and so in your face you need have your head in the sand to not see them.

P2P may well be doomed, but that will be the decision of gaming companies not players.

Monetization has had such a huge effect on the way games are played it is hard to separate one from the other. The fact we spend so much time talking now about how a game makes its money shows you how damaging to gaming ethos the move from P2P has been.

Why have you guys not given up on MMOs? Why are you not playing this card game we have for you or this casino game disguised as a MMO?

That's the attitude up top, either join in the new genre or f-off to be frank. And part of that new genre is pay-every-which way.

The RPG element in MMOs has been washed out over the years. The first MMOs had RPG tools like only slowly understanding a different races /say chat if you spoke to them, or listened to their 'say chat a lot.

Today its all about looking big and strong or small and crafty, that's the extent of the RPG element. The backstory of each race is just a small paragraph in some MMOs, really poor.

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