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All Posts by grummz

All Posts by grummz

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35 posts found
Quite right. I asked them to fix my typo.

So, I kept my part of the bargain and left Firefall out of this one.  As predicted, I was still attacked regardless of the content of my article. Can we leave personal attacks out of this? I'm just trying to have an open discussion about how to improve our hobby.

If you feel slighted by Firefall or by myself, please post it to the Firefall forums. It doesn't belong here. Otherwise I might as well go back to saying "Firefall" every article since it hardly seems to make a difference.

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.

It's true that lengthy betas can allow your competition to copy you...but having been copied before on games like WoW, I can say it does take them time to do so, and they often are not copied well due to time pressure or the fact that they are not the original innovators in the first place.
Not necessarily. The legal risks can be greatly reduced with beta test agreements that allow for this kind of participation.
I'm going to leave Firefall out of my next article. See if that prediction is that people will still find fault. ;)

Its really going to hamstring the discussion if I can't mention Firefall. I try to leave it at the very end only and talk about the philosophy that we observe in current MMOs. 

As for facts and figures, there are no public sources. I am drawing upon my experience leading the WoW team, working on Diablo II, and talking to many of my friends who are leaders in the industry. I'm not the only one who feels this way.



You're right. AC is right up there too.

Have you tried the latest patch? There is a ton of PvE content now. Over 150 dynamic missions and ARES missions, 3 new pocket zones, our first 5-man instance, loot drops, improved crafting, VOIP, marketplace, and Jetball eSports mode, and much more.

I agree that Firefall *used* to be just thumping, but not anymore.

I know I mentioned what we are doing with Firefall, but its hard to talk about how I feel about MMOs without discussing what we are trying to do to address these things. Otherwise I would have to discuss potential solutions like this "hypothetically, if I were to make a new MMO, I would..."
I think its both. We are pro at MMOs, and the formula no longer has any novelty for us. So we have to introduce new ways of playing and experiencing MMOs as well as focusing on the journey, not the end game.
Glad you guys are liking the points I made in the article. It's not an easy problem. With MMOs getting so expensive, they have to appeal to a wider audience...but in doing so they create a game where everyone gets bored in 2-4 weeks. 
Have you played the latest patch? Still asking if you feel this way after the patch, since the feedback would be helpful. Or is this based on an older version of the game?

Hi, I'm the CEO of Red 5 Studios. Have you tried the latest patch? A lot of new content. You don't have to thump if you don't want to. ARES missions and more.

We have rave comments from the latest patch, people are diggin it.

Also, lots planned for Open Beta and the near future:




Sure, we've changed the game significantly at its foundation several times. But each time was necessary. There is not successful blueprint of how to make a PvE MMOFPS. There was nothing to copy, nothing to emulate. When I worked on WoW, we had Everquest to emulate.

We tried levels, tiers and now resource based progression. Levels was copied from MMOs, but it didn't feel right for a shooter and people were voting by quitting early and not playing as much. When we switched to tiers, retention shot way up, but it still had fundamental broken issues that were highlighted by the community. When we switched to resource based progression, and the new crafting system, we had an interesting result. The bad part was that it alienated half our users as much as it entertained the other half. The good news was that metrics were up everywhere...people are playing for longer and are more engaged than ever before. Now we have to work on the alienation of a good chunk of our users due to an incomplete crafting UI and testling limits on progresssion being made too difficult.

But we don't make these chnages on a whim. Had we shipped with the original leveling system, the game would have been a disaster. Thankfullly, since we develop features with our community, we discovered the problem early on. We share features early, before the last 10% where 90% of the work is, so that we *can* make these changes without throwing away a ton of work, or become so invested in a system that we refuse to change it.

Our process has been a new one for all of us, devs and community. But we can measure its success and improvements each step, while avoiding some bad systems that got put to rest early...all thanks to community driven development.

In case anyone was curious, one of our designers describes a little bit of what Firefall is trying to do to advance dynamic events:


- Mark Kern




I've heard the MMORPG audience is a tough crowd. I think you guys have every right to be angry that MMOs haven't changed much in the past 10 years. Glad to see people still want more, as it really makes me want to figure out what the "more" is as a game maker.

- Mark Kern

There is a lot that can improve beyond quests and dynamic events, true. But I just mentioned one of many possible ways we could change things.

When we made WoW, we looked around and said, let's make a themepark...but we could have chosen anything. There were so many types of MMOs before WoW, and Blizzard took just ONE of them and popularized it.

We can dig back and find lots of other ideas to mine and shape and polish as WoW did. I see lots of potential in online games if we can just take our WoW blinders off.

I just wanted to thank everyone for a truely stimulating debate. While it has gotten heated at times, I think the fact that it has generated so much opinion is good for the industry, which needs to do better and "think different."

This article is, of course, just my opinion. Many of you have a very different opinion and that is just fine. 

Many of you are suggesting ways to improve DE's and take what GW2 has done even father. Next week I'll outline some things that I would love to see in MMOs in the future, and hopefully we can have a great discussion then too.

I just have one request. Please don't attack each other personally in these comments. I love to see debate, arguments and thoughtful posts, but it should not be personal. Attack the ideas with counter-ideas, yes. But please don't attack the commentor.

Thanks again for the great response, controversial though it might be. See you in the next column.

- Mark

Originally posted by Krytycal

I'm sure Mr. Kern would love Dynamic Events to kill quest hubs considering he's using DEs as content for his own game (Firefall) in the form of Chosen invasions.


Shouldn't there be some type of conflict of interest check before you start writing columns for this site?

My interests are fully disclosed, so you know where I'm coming from. This is why its an editorial, not journalistic article.

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