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All Posts by gestalt11

All Posts by gestalt11

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Originally posted by iixviiiix
Originally posted by Flyte27

I still don't consider travel a time sink. 

Travel not time sink when the road full of enemies and traps. If it isn't , it time sink.

For example , in dungeon , you travel from gate to boss room, Without the enemies and traps to stop you search to boss room , it time sink.

Add enemies , it turned to contents.

In old RPG where you don't get HP/MP regen over time , traveling is part of contents to chip off player's HP/MP and potions. If you can't get to another town before you run out of HP and item , you lost

 

 

But i feel like people here keep using "time sink" while gaming is "time sink" in first place. What ever in new or old , time sink still time sink.

Well , to some people , gaming not time sink but working.

Somtimes its called a "timesink" if it takes time and don't want to do it.  Technically this is inaccurate as that is more accurately called a "chore".

 

To be a time sink the activity should be an obviously implemented and designed feature whose purpose to stretch out how long a player will play the game for example certain raiding gear checks and similar mechanics are obvious time sinks as they force players to repetitiously kill content they can and do reliably kill often with things like timers involved to assure they can only reach the next level after at predetermined and hard set amount of time even if they are basically ready in all others way they still need to "sink" time into the endeavor for absolutely no reason other than to stretch things out.  In addition they may need to perform various time wasting chores such as gathering potion ingredients for consumables that are considered necessary for a raid dungeons or whatever.

 

Note "time sink" and "wasting time" are not strictly equivalent.  A time sink may waste your time, but other things also may waste your time.  I personally won't play a game that becomes a chore, but other people will.   Other people share this point of view but sometime communicate as saying the game is a massive time sink.  Which actually means it wastes too much of their time on things they find no value in.

 

Now when it comes to travelling we must understand that in the minds of many people they will log into an EQ-style MMORPG such as WoW and their only goal is to run some instanced dungeon.  You must understand that in this context ALL designs for travel that cause this to take a significant amount of time are going to be viewed as a chore and will therefore feel like a waste of time to people with this mindset.  There will be varying degrees of tolerance for chores but no one likes chores.

Now if we take a different mindset, a person who logs in and wants to "experience the world" and decides to mosey on over to Dungeon X.  Things change some, then the above quoted point comes into play.  If there is nothing a long the way but a few pretty trees that gets boring pretty quick and people feel like traveling around is just a waste of time no matter what.  If there are various events (combat oriented or otherwise) that people find enjoyable then when people have this mindset it will be viewed as a real aspect of a real game.

But even with this more favorable case we still run into the issues of the first mindset  I mentioned.  Because EQ-Style games have static content with tiered levels and fixed goals.  Players regularly have limited time and fixed goals.  Forcing them to fight some wolves they have no use for just because "immersion" when they are now in the phase of the game where they want one more try at the slot machine to get the Helm of Immaculate Tankiness is simply counter productive.  When that is their goal, when you have written content which expressly forces them to have this goal, you will inherently create an unresolvable tension with travel time.  Or ANY SORT OF THING that takes time away from another run at the slot machine.

 

The value of travel as a "thing" completely dependent on the character of the games content and the goals instilled by this content/gear/character advancement.

 

In fact just changing the content model from dungeon crawls to spawn camping radically affects how "good" people would feel about travel being a real "thing".  The character of a spawn camp spot is directly related to the travel "layout" of an area, both for getting there and for how risky or convient it may be.

Whereas dungeon crawling in instances basically is competely at odds with travel times and there can be no real compromise.  They necessarily conflict and the only way to make them not conflict is have them separate tracks entirely.  Some peope seemed to be convince that they can have their cake and eat it to because some 1st gen MMORPGs had significant travel and dungeons.  They are wrong.  The reason these don't exist anymore is because of this described conflict.  It simply won't work out well.   Unforatunately they will never believe this because they seem to think the fact that it existed means it worked well, which is just wrong.  

It can exist of course,  I can also wear my pants on my head.  But neither is a good idea.

 

It is literally pointless to talk of travel times and other aspects of travel without stipulating the character of the content of the MMORPG that is being discussed.  The value of travel is so utterly dependent on the content model, that the exact same travel design can be good in one and utterly terrible in another.  EvE's travel design is fine for the game, it would be utterly terrible in WoW.

Originally posted by waynejr2
Originally posted by gestalt11

The questing of modern day MMORPG cannot, by reasonable people, be seen as analogous to the mechanics used in the classic standouts of CRPGs over the context of the genre's life.

 

Ultima 4&5

Ultima Underworld

Pool of Radiance and other gold box games

Wasteland and Fallout 1&2 series

etc.

 

It is true that all of those games gave you some overall direction, but this is not analogous to to the "wow-style" questing system and I think Garriot might have smacked you in the 80s if you suggested Ultima 4 should have such a thing.

 

It is also true that later iterations of some of those series (fallout 3 notably) do have a system that is more analogous to the "WoW-style" questing.

 

But suggesting that any sort of "story guidance" is roughly the same as having a full blown WoW/modern MMO questing system.  Well that is just way too much of a stretch to be reasonable.

 

I would also like to say that many MUDs "questing" system was considerably different than what is currently widely seen and that people are being extremely narrowminded.

In many LP style MUDs the quest system was not "content" per se.  Rather they were requirements to achieve certain abilties or to be allowed passed a level.  In many LP MUDs quest were challenges to prove you should be allowed past certain things.  XP was gotten by killing things.  They were two quite different mechanics.  A quest was generally a small description you could access on a bulletin board or a help file and you had to figure everything out based upon the world and that small description.  They were basically something to prove that you were "good" at the world of the MUD and prevented pure monster grinding.

I am not saying this is a good mechanic.  In fact I rather disliked it.  Some people rather liked it.  But people should realize and admit these things can and have been used in ways you are not considering.  Don't be slaves to your assimptions based on one decade of stuff is an obviously stagnant genre (MMORPGs).

I will say the reason I disliked it is mainly a practical and not a design thing.  Most MUDs were made by volunteers and there was no guarantee you were given a "fair" puzzle for the quests and on some MUDs there was a sort "networking" sort of thing people would do to get solution to certain not particularlly well written/not made fair quests.  Note that in most LP MUDs giving away quest solutions and in some cases hidden Guilds (roughly analogous to a class) was bannable offense.  And wikis were not yet prevalent.

 

Anyway there is a tension between giving players a "fair"/useful amount of information and giving them spoilers.  There is very much an art to it.  I would say though that the "WoW style" questing system completely throws this out the window as there is no way to spoil something "on rails".  This is perhaps the way to differentiate.

 

If your grandfather was never born, you wouldn't be here. The same goes with pen and paper rpgs, crpgs, muds as to mmorpgs.  And that's that.

My grandfather, before he passed, was twice as smart, twice as competent, twice as tolerant and twice as technically savy in his 90s as most 30 year olds I have met in the modern day.  And all that on an 8th grade education even with Woodrow Wilson doing whacked crap like banning the teaching of German to kids in elementary school in places in with large amounts of german immigrants (not that he cared, he couldn't remember any german in his adult years, still might have come in handy in international business).  He turned a single peanut vending machine into a milltion dollar enterprise starting from the middle of the Great depression.  And although all his children are decently successful and good people they really don't quite hit that mark.

So I am not sure what your point is.

I didn't realize TERA was that much more profitable than Aion I thought it was the other way around.  

Although TERA questing was really boring they do have a really god combat system for an MMO.  Note: not everyone likes the fighter-style combo system and that is fine, but objectively for what it is it works very nicely and it works very nicely with BAMS even if solo BAM fights are just too long to not get boring after the first few minutes even with the tight mechanics.

 

Lineage is the only 1st gen game on there though.

The questing of modern day MMORPG cannot, by reasonable people, be seen as analogous to the mechanics used in the classic standouts of CRPGs over the context of the genre's life.

 

Ultima 4&5

Ultima Underworld

Pool of Radiance and other gold box games

Wasteland and Fallout 1&2 series

etc.

 

It is true that all of those games gave you some overall direction, but this is not analogous to to the "wow-style" questing system and I think Garriot might have smacked you in the 80s if you suggested Ultima 4 should have such a thing.

 

It is also true that later iterations of some of those series (fallout 3 notably) do have a system that is more analogous to the "WoW-style" questing.

 

But suggesting that any sort of "story guidance" is roughly the same as having a full blown WoW/modern MMO questing system.  Well that is just way too much of a stretch to be reasonable.

 

I would also like to say that many MUDs "questing" system was considerably different than what is currently widely seen and that people are being extremely narrowminded.

In many LP style MUDs the quest system was not "content" per se.  Rather they were requirements to achieve certain abilties or to be allowed passed a level.  In many LP MUDs quest were challenges to prove you should be allowed past certain things.  XP was gotten by killing things.  They were two quite different mechanics.  A quest was generally a small description you could access on a bulletin board or a help file and you had to figure everything out based upon the world and that small description.  They were basically something to prove that you were "good" at the world of the MUD and prevented pure monster grinding.

I am not saying this is a good mechanic.  In fact I rather disliked it.  Some people rather liked it.  But people should realize and admit these things can and have been used in ways you are not considering.  Don't be slaves to your assimptions based on one decade of stuff is an obviously stagnant genre (MMORPGs).

I will say the reason I disliked it is mainly a practical and not a design thing.  Most MUDs were made by volunteers and there was no guarantee you were given a "fair" puzzle for the quests and on some MUDs there was a sort "networking" sort of thing people would do to get solution to certain not particularlly well written/not made fair quests.  Note that in most LP MUDs giving away quest solutions and in some cases hidden Guilds (roughly analogous to a class) was bannable offense.  And wikis were not yet prevalent.

 

Anyway there is a tension between giving players a "fair"/useful amount of information and giving them spoilers.  There is very much an art to it.  I would say though that the "WoW style" questing system completely throws this out the window as there is no way to spoil something "on rails".  This is perhaps the way to differentiate.

 

Most MMORPGs are pretty bad at the RPG part.  Not all but most.  This was not true during the MUD era, many MUDs had some pretty kickass RPG stuff in them.  The best Necromancer class I have ever seen was in a MUD.  That in includes ALL professional games that have Necromancer class including such luminaries as Diablo 2.  Still beat by the Necromancer in GateMUD.  

 

Most MMORPGs are piss poor imitation of ARPGs, which are pretty barebones when it comes to RPG themselves and mostly just a vehicle for power gaming.  There are a few notable exceptions.  

 

I pesonally think the RPG parts of Asheron's Call were pretty good.  It is interesting to note that AC was in fact vastly more actiony than the other 1st gen games and was skill based.  In AC you could actually manually dodge spells.  This makes it radically different than EQ of DAOC.

 

Edit:

I think it is also important to note that games like AC and Neocron basically counter the OPs point pretty soundly.  Its probably powergaming (I don't really know this is just a guess) more than anything else that is killing things.  Everything is just a shallow ARPG-like powergaming treadmill.  This necessarily means they use the same old same old RPG formula.

 

But right from the beginning there were games like AC and Neocron that had pertty real RPG depth and very real Action aspects as well.  Notably both games gave a skill to increase your run speed as an option for RPG investment.

I am a veteran who does not think the old school MMORPGs are particulary better than the new ones.

 

They are both roughly equivalently flawed.  The old school ones did stupid crap like forced grouping and had glaring design conflicts, but tended to have a good bit more substance to the games in general.  

And yes forced grouping is stupid.  Forcing people to do things in games is not only a cardinal sin, but over the last decade has been soundly rejected by a VERY large portion of the player base.  Objective data has shown this over and over in game after game.  These feature weren't removed in a vaccum.  They were removed because they initially existed and were actively avoided.  The only solution is either abandon the crappy feature or build a better mouse trap to force people into something they clearly choose not to do when given the choice.  I know some vets desparately want forced grouping, please wake up and consider what you are saying.  Not only are there mountains of data showing this simply doesn't work but just think about it from an interpersonal level.   You want people to perform a certain activity, your method of achieving this is to actively take away every other activity these people find more enjoyable until they do the thing you want.  There is a word for this.  Its called "tyranny".  Its not really all that fun.

 

The new games are more shallow but have less glaringly stupid stuff in them.

 

The only thing that makes me a "sad" veteran is that in 15 years we have gotten somewhere different but not any where better or worse.    Alot of good things were thrown out with the bath water.  Unforatuntely a lot of veteran want to put the dirty bath water back in so we can go back to something equally bad but bad in a different way.

Its true.  Various outdoor areas in LOTRO were populated with many elites and they were not only specifically designed but widely known to be superior for leveling.  They were made to be camped and grinded and gave good equipment and very nice xp.

 

You would occasionally get some people doing it.  But even on the RP server with a rather mature community getting a group to go do it was not in anyway dependable.

 

I am sorry to break it to the diehards but objective data just shows, most people won't do it even when its not just favorable but KNOWN to be favorable.

 

This is an unpopular feature that people actively avoid even when its more rewarding.  You simply can't get away from that.

 

The DDO stuff is true too, Turbine had to slowly turn the gigantic design ship around.  They couldn't actually make most things solo friendly because DDO was designed from the ground up to be a party based game (for various reasons) but even so they started doing all sorts of things to make the game at least less forcefully statically grouped to a certain amount.  They didn't do these things because forced grouping is great.  

 

Turbine keeps a lot of metrics.  They do a lot of things based on copious data gathering.  They also created the Asheron's Call which was the least forced grouping of the major old school games (and the most innovative too).  They are not married to ideas one way or the other, they also are not afraid to design a forced grouping game from the ground up.  And they are not afraid to go the other direction if they feel they have too. 

 

Make no mistake changing somethings design after implementation is a HUGE pain in the ass.  Its often better (both faster and better quality) to start new than to monkey with an existing design.

 

That Trubine changed two different money making games, one of which was very rigorously forced grouping, is extremely significant.  Anyone ignoring this is living in La La Land.  I am sorry if these facts punched your nostalgia in the gut.  But its just the way it is.

The colloqiualism "spirtual successor" doesn't mean jack because it is put to the lie the by some much more useful colloqiualisms.  These are:

 

"Talk is cheap, whiskey costs money"

and/or

"The proof is in the pudding"

 

If you read between the lines it means the following "We liked X but there were too many problems with it so we are doing a completely new design that attempts to keep the stuff we liked in X but it would be a blatant lie to say we are remaking X since we are basically changing everything.  Since that we are not remaking it and have not actually made the new thing we can't actually even truly claim we kept the stuff we liked about X therefore this shit is all spiritual because it sure ain't real."

Originally posted by nebb1234
Originally posted by gestalt11
Anyone who leaves their children to play WoW is something other than simply "addicted".  They are probably some kind of serious narcissist or something.  The base drives associated with your own children are incredibly strong you have to be a pretty serious head case to completely throw them away. 

I would say that you are underestimating the power of addiction. People leave their families for addictions, without having outher mental health issues. Think deadbeats dads, heroine hookers, etc etc.

 

If your brain is wired wrong, a beer can be like having 10 orgasms... and not having one is like serving 10 years in prison. The most gorgeous family in the world can't win against that.

 

Then again, I'm sure many people with addictions who leave their families DO have other mental health issues.

 

It's alllll spectrumssssssssssssssss

Do they leave or do they get thrown out?  This is a much more important question than many will give it credit for.

 

Even in the throes of addiction many mothers will desparately try to do various things for their children, they of course fail because they are in a self-destructive spiral/feedback loop.  Generally the family cuts off the addict NOT the other way around.  

 

Be afraid of positive feedback loops.  Very afraid.  Of course also realize nature has a large number of things to make sure the ones that do exist do not go too far.  Don't buy end of the world stories based on positive feedback loops even if they are the most dangerous thing in nature.  You can put the pieces together if you wish in this regard, but I ain't saying what this applies to.

Anyone who leaves their children to play WoW is something other than simply "addicted".  They are probably some kind of serious narcissist or something.  The base drives associated with your own children are incredibly strong you have to be a pretty serious head case to completely throw them away. 

I am not interested in this mechanic.   

 

Perhaps something can be done to capture the parts of it that were good and get rid of or mitigate the parts that made it shallow and repetitive?

 

Maybe some kind of arena like thing, where not that predicatable waves of things attack you at semi-defined intervals.  Maybe with like a minute or two between waves and notifications for readieness etc.  Maybe even with ramping difficulty if you succeed more and more.

 

Unless what you liked was the boring ad nauseum repetition of easy kills.  Then I guess there is no middle ground with me, cause that is a waste of my time and you are going to have to pay me to "play" rather than having me pay to play it.

 

Originally posted by Milkbzy
I registered an account after years of reading those annoying threads just to say that I completely agree.

Um.

 

Uh.

 

You have been repeatedly doing something that annoys you for years on end?  Talk about living in a glass house ...

 

Actually I would say this is, in a strange way, a microcosm of the whole things.  There are literally tons of people who do all sorts of things that annoy them in MMORPGs repeatedly over and over for years on end.  Justifying this burden in one way or another.  Then they snap.

 

 

With the advent of the phenomenon of taking all flavor out of MMORPGs by sacrificing all interesting things on the altar of "balance" most interesting things about having different players species has been taken out or watered down.  

I have started to refuse to use the word "race" as that is a misnomer from original D&D days.  A human and an gnoll are not two different races, they are two different species.  Just as horses and donkies are two different species even if they can make a mule.

 

Now having differenet species in a game is nothing more than fluff.  It has been watered down to be essentially a trivial choice that is solely about appearance.

 

Therefore when prioritizing the tasking on your games are you gonna spend a lot of time on fluff?  No so you go with whatever takes the least thought and time.

Originally posted by Nightbringe1
Originally posted by Arglebargle

Na, not really.   Trinity was a simple solution to old game problems.  Too simple, and less interesting to me than more advanced attempts at solutions.   I prefer classless systems anyway.  Some folks don't.

 

And no, D&D didn't have a trinity system.  (though there are tons of threads arguing it back and forth on MMORPG)   In D&D you had positional blocking, and far more diverse roles.   Even with the typically haphazard and murky game structure.

D&D did not have a trinity.

D&D had four distinct roles: Fighter, Cleric, Thief, Wizard

I am not even sure I would call those "roles" in an MMORPG discussion.  I mean they had various roles in that only thieves would climb walls or hide in shadows (let us ignore monks and assassins for a second and especially ignore 1st edition bards).

But at the same time Clerics were just as tough as fighters and fought quite well.  Fighters had no taunts etc.  I mean they had special stuff they each did but they were not defined by that one role.

A good example of how it just doesn't fit the MMO mould is that basically Clerics/Druids kill everyone else as a "solo" class in D&D.   There are some variations that might compare but a Cleric does not need a tank in D&D, in fact they tank quite well.  

 

D&D when run well by good players and a good DM was for the most built to be more richly tactical than "What role are you".  Now some roles did line up to certain classes fairly strictly but it was much more rich than the simplistic crap of MMORPGs, of "what's yer role brah"?  And importantly many "roles" were things out of combat.

 

Originally posted by dave6660
Originally posted by Quizzical

1)  Specialization makes pugging, or any other sort of grouping, much harder.  In Guild Wars 2, for example, you can grab five people and go.  But in many games, you can easily spend as much time trying to find a player of the underrepresented specialty (commonly but not always healers) as actually doing group content.  Most people want to log on and play a game, not log on and wait, so that leads many people to avoid grouping entirely.  Which makes getting a group even harder.

4)  That would encourage players to figure out which group composition results in the easiest run and insist on that.  Some classes would be completely unwanted on the basis that if they let you join, it makes the run harder--even if you're good at your class.

City of Heroes was also a noteworthy exception to the PUG problem.  I never had or heard of anyone having problems with pretty much any group makeup when running missions.  As a matter of fact, I thought that strange combinations of archetypes made some groups very interesting.

This was because of the free-form dynamic dungeons as well as the flexible class system.  

CoH had dynamic dungeons so people could and subtract from groups and thus you had "PUGs" that ran for hours and hours and sometimes the people who started the PUG to begin with are not even in 3 hours later with all original people having slowly been replaced and some other person taking the leader.

 

Combine that with the fact that a "role" was not some boring ass healer crap like in most MMORPGs, but had many ways to fulfil the basic premise.  Defenders could add resistance or defense or heal or some combo or even be a debuffer.  Various controllers had multiple types of stuff.  This of course lead to some issues as most people could not really apreicate a Storm Defender and many Storm Defenders sucked and just cause chaos.  But a good Stormy with a team who knew how to coordinate it right worked well and was fun.

 

Anyway you won't see the same phenomenon in these static content, static group size games.  And unforatunately its value to the genre will continue to be vastly overlooked and underestimated.  All MMORPGs need to strive mightily to achieve what COH grouping achieved in regards to ease/flexibility of grouping and the resultant genuine preference to group that it instilled.  Instead we just get more and more of this "You must be forced.  The beatings WILL continue" stupid ass Warden from Cool Luke style BS.

 

Originally posted by mgilbrtsn
I'm a bit stupid.  Can someone explain PUG.  thx, marc

They are those ugly little dogs who are so deformed their eyes sometimes  pop out of the sockets when they sneeze.  Some people think that since they are so hideously ugly that they are cute because they are small o something.   You aren't alone, the whole thing makes no sense to me either.  I mean how are ugly little buggers cute?

No, it hasn't.  Nor has a Trinity game ever made me more interested in such a thing.

 

Edit:

Actually after thinking about it there is one "Trinity" game that went in a postive direction, I actually enjoyed playing Medic in Global Agenda.  Beyond that its been a steady slide from a "Meh I can see what they're going for" reaction to pure lip sneering disgust.

Originally posted by Malabooga
Originally posted by General-Zod

Originally posted by jesteralways
Maybe because when they say PVP they mean "I want to gank lowbies as soon as they get out of safe zone"? And they add pretty words like "persistent world" "risk versus reward" "effect on entire game world" etc..

Players like PvP because it's more challenging and less predictable than fighting against NPC's. If you are having problems "tasking" outside of the safe zone I can offer you some tips, just so you aren't among the small amount of players who die unwittingly just outside the safe zone.

 

Originally posted by Viper482

Originally posted by Ender4

BG and RVR are PvP for the PvE players. The "real" PvP players don't think fair matters, they PvP to control the PvE territory.

So wrong I don't even know where to begin. While you're at it why not go ahead and take it upon yourself to redefine fps, rts, and mmo?

He is partially correct.

Some players believe that the only test of skill is when the playing field is equal. I would argue that the true test of skill is when the odds are against you or a player is more powerful than you but yet you still prevail. 

Sports are setup how they are because thats most objective measure of  "skill"

What you are talking about is handicap, rare occurance but still present in sport. problem is that your standard MMO usually hands out handicap to wrong side (people who play less and cannot grind out gear etc.)

In the grand scheme of things, people have to start on equal footing and let skill decide the rest. Thats why PvP in your standard MMOs suck and is mostly sideattraction for PvEers (which in turn just grind another set of gear)

 

Also the above is basically inarguably true, and is why most (but not all) MMORPG PvP should not be taken too seriously.  You think its fun or whatever that is fine, beyond that you are just getting into a really sad area. 

Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by Flyte27
Originally posted by Axehilt
Originally posted by Flyte27

I think you really believe in your game design philosophies.  Every company is looking to milk you in some way.  The milking is actually becoming more prevalent in today's games.  It's done in a different/sneakier way where it's harder to criticize the companies.  I still think you get more out of the old games.  I got a whole range of emotional provocation from playing games like EQ because of the different things in game.  In truth if I was the same age back then I probably would have jumped ship to the easiest/least resistance game.  I'm thankful I didn't have a choice as there weren't many out there at the time.  I believe a game should bring more then just fun/happiness.  It should provoke the full spectrum of emotions.  Anger, hate, sadness, happiness, jealously, etc.  Every emotion is good to have IMO.  If you are looking for just easy happiness I think you are missing out on something special.  I also don't entirely share your philosophies on time sinks being bad.  I guess it's just a difference of opinion though.

My game design philosophies are mostly the philosophies of better designers who came before me, plus observations I've made over the years as a player, an observer of other players, and a designer.

Your comments about milking gamers are strange. Excessive timesinks weren't prevalent in games until a time-based (subscription) business model.  And yet it was so sneaky and abstract that players to this day will defend those excessive timesinks as good for gameplay even though their purpose was making money.  Sneaky enough that you might not even have perceived them as money-related design decisions.  Sneaky enough that even while I'm pointing out how a time-based business model and time-sucking gameplay became prevalent at precisely the same time, you still might not see it.

Focusing on good gameplay doesn't prevent any of the emotions you've described.  Certainly I've experienced all of those in WOW.

I believe the purpose was to keep people playing.  That is why it was called Everquest.  I believe the timesinks added to the experience as it was something to overcome.  When there is nothing to overcome but endgame raiding there is little incentive to play the game IMO.  I've already said it and others have as well, but time sinks were part of many games previous to MMOs. I would consider grinding to be able to get to x level to fight x mob a time sink.  It wasn't fun, but it made you feel good once you got to x level because you invested time and persevered with patience and determination.  They never hid the cost of the game from you.  They said you have to pay x amount a month and you did.  In todays games you pay a price for alpha, beta, release, and then the cash shop, on top of possible a subscription.  Cash shops are probably the sneakiest way to make money.  They put items in shops and say it's only cosmetic knowing people will be tempted to buy it and likely give out in many cases.  That is a lot more sneaky then putting a flat rate that says exactly what you are paying.

Make no mistake, timesinks and grind were put in to make more money off of the subscription model first and foremost. You would be incredibly naive to think otherwise.

Similarly many F2P games use timesinks and grind to sell powerups to skip all that.

If you are a smart gamer you should always favor games in which you pay for content: B2P, expansions, DLCs etc.

I think you guys need to be a lot more careful than you are being here.  The jump from correlation to causation is not as cut and dry as you are making it out.  I am not saying it isn't there but its more complex to demonstrate in a clear manner than you seem to think.

 

Grindiness is much older than MMORPGs.   Many MUDs had a lot of treadmill type stuff in them.  These ideas translated into MMORPGs right from the get go.  Especially the first gen MMO for which a VERY large majority of the devs were former MUD devs of some sort.

The MUDs I played on had literally unlimited levels and some people put in months and months of play time getting level litterally 10 times higher than 99% of the player population ever got to.  The itselfs content had no real conception of dealing with players who were level 300 or whatever.  These few people would login kill everything in the game and log out.  Over and over.   

Most MUDs are/were non-profit, not all but most.  So this is an important point.  They still had an interest in keeping as many players as long as possible.

 

But what has become more obvious over the years and with the transition into causation from correlation is that things like dungeon lock outs have cropped up.  The prevalence of things like waving and RNG loot drop carrot in front of people's faces has gotten more and more prevalent.  In many MUDs if you killed Mob X you got what he had.  And in many cases you killed him once because he was really fucking dangerous.  On the MUD I played they had a Camelot area.  People would kill Sir Lancelot for his mithril sword (yeah I know its mixing stories) but you didn't "farm" him because he fuckign dangerous as hell.  Sometimes he would pop out with this move and literally decapitate you.  In a game with death penalty 10x worse than any EQ ever had, this was a serious thing.  Yet at the same time I had a well defined thing I could do to get the things I want, I wasn't strung along.

 

It is the introduction of various mechanics clearly intended to string people along in one way or another that I believe is the most convincing of this phenomenon.

 

But we must be careful because there are many very similar and tangential things that have existed for a long period of time and for similar reasons.

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