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The Secret World Forum » General Discussion » Funcom should have made the game less "On rail" feel to it

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43 posts found
  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 4153

Remember the blisters you'd get in the palm of your hand from the corner of that joystick?

11/07/12 8:37:03 AM#21
Originally posted by Xasapis
Yes, but you can have Dragonage and Skyrim. Both are themeparks, but one is on rails while the other isn't.

In your opinion, what is the ain difference between the 2? Story telling? From what I've seen lately, the concept of deeper stories is not really good for long term replayability in MMOs. MMOs with large stories, seem to end when the story ends.

Recently started playing SWTOR. I am posting updates to my experience in this thread:
SWTOR Experience

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/07/12 8:42:31 AM#22

to be fair to funcom

thats just about every mmo developer post wow

at least it aint as on the rails as swtor or aoc

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/07/12 8:43:57 AM#23
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Xasapis
Yes, but you can have Dragonage and Skyrim. Both are themeparks, but one is on rails while the other isn't.

I believe most people call Skyrim a sandbox style game...

"most people" are wrong.  tes is more of a hybrid.  I guess if you have hearthfire that pushes skyrim into the sandbox side though.

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/07/12 8:47:09 AM#24
Originally posted by GeezerGamer
Originally posted by Xasapis

I will agree that in terms of character progression the game brings you from the easier stuff in Solomon's island to the harder stuff. Still, going from that point to the point where we cal on-rail any type of difficulty progression is misleading and quite a stretch.

TSW is by no stretch of the imagination "on rails" in the same manner WoW Cataclysm was or SW:TOR. It more closer resembles GW2, for example, or LOTRO. In other words it has a main story quest and beyond that you can roam and find anything you like, as long as you can deal with the difficulty. Think Skyrim type of themepark, with the two big differences the zones and that moving to certain zones requires some progression (only in Solomon's island) with the main quest, limitations that Skyrim doesn't share. Still, the overall feeling is the same.

WoW and those like it

GW2 / TSW

The games aren't really on rails, but you are still in your controlled environments (your box) where you can roam around until you run into something.

i'd put TSW in the former category

the later would be daoc, eq, gw2

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7649

Logic be damned!

11/07/12 8:48:33 AM#25

It's a MORPG based on story.

I don't know about you guys, but are you really surprised it's linear and on rails?

And yes, I said MORPG instead of MMORPG on purpose.

There are very, very few MMOs out there anymore, but a LOT of MORPGs or ORPGs.

Now Playing: D3:RoS
Looking Towards: Destiny

  Dauzqul

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 2/10/12
Posts: 1190

11/07/12 8:52:32 AM#26

I felt like I was on rails from the veyr beginning. I didn't make it out of beta.

I want to play a MMORPG - not a SPORPG

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/07/12 8:57:02 AM#27
Originally posted by BadSpock

It's a MORPG based on story.

I don't know about you guys, but are you really surprised it's linear and on rails?

And yes, I said MORPG instead of MMORPG on purpose.

There are very, very few MMOs out there anymore, but a LOT of MORPGs or ORPGs.

yeah the Massive part doesnt come around much these days.  I guess it applies to GW2 and definetly planetside (although that drops the RPG bit mostly)

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 18382

Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

11/07/12 9:17:56 AM#28
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Originally posted by BadSpock

It's a MORPG based on story.

I don't know about you guys, but are you really surprised it's linear and on rails?

And yes, I said MORPG instead of MMORPG on purpose.

There are very, very few MMOs out there anymore, but a LOT of MORPGs or ORPGs.

yeah the Massive part doesnt come around much these days.  I guess it applies to GW2 and definetly planetside (although that drops the RPG bit mostly)

Well agreed, being story driven means it really can't be anything much besides linear and on rails, otherwise there'd be no way to maintain any sort of continuity in it.

In my original reply I was just agreeing with the OP that it would have been sort of cool to make TSW more of a world that the agents operated in rather than a story the player followed from end to end.

 

"The discrepancy between what we know is possible and what we currently have to choose from is beyond disappointing" - GeezerGamer
Kyleran - Bitter Vet ™ since 2006
"This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon

  halflife25

Apprentice Member

Joined: 9/13/12
Posts: 787

11/07/12 9:23:27 AM#29
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Originally posted by BadSpock

It's a MORPG based on story.

I don't know about you guys, but are you really surprised it's linear and on rails?

And yes, I said MORPG instead of MMORPG on purpose.

There are very, very few MMOs out there anymore, but a LOT of MORPGs or ORPGs.

yeah the Massive part doesnt come around much these days.  I guess it applies to GW2 and definetly planetside (although that drops the RPG bit mostly)

Well agreed, being story driven means it really can't be anything much besides linear and on rails, otherwise there'd be no way to maintain any sort of continuity in it.

In my original reply I was just agreeing with the OP that it would have been sort of cool to make TSW more of a world that the agents operated in rather than a story the player followed from end to end.

 

Like every other term related to MMOS people interpret and change definition as it suits them i guess. For me 'on the rail' means where the game guides you to first quest npc and from there on you follow one straight narrow path, to another quest NPC and so on.

in these games the higher level quest NPC will be locked and won't offer quests till you finish previous ones. However in TSW all content is open and available to you. You are not guided from one NPC to another and you don't have to follow a specified path for the content progression.

So for me TSW is 'not on the rail' but if TSW is on rails than so is GW2  because of the way zones and hearts are divided based on levels and how you need to complete them ina specific order for maximum efficency.

But hey people are free to interpret 'on rails' in any manner they like.

Good thing is i am not hardcore fan of any MMO and do not belong to any MMO fan clubs so i am capable of giving my opinion with as minimum bias as possible.

  lizardbones

Elite Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 9995

I've become dependent upon spell check. My apologies for stupid grammatical errors.

11/07/12 10:10:12 AM#30


Originally posted by Kyleran

Originally posted by lizardbones  

Originally posted by Po_gg

Originally posted by Crunchy222 I really dont think you even understand what "on rails" means to be honest.  Yeah this games a themepark, but its certainly the least themepark of all the other themeparks out there.
I'm with Crunchy, if you wanna see what's on-rail really means, you should check RaiderZ :)   I think TSW delivered what was promised. It's a great Ragnar game, with well-written npc's and story (though I think they made a step back from AoC's npc interaction, that was better), a new questing system with investigation and brainwork. Still a themepark, if you like to divide games between theme and sandbox, but definitely not one on the rails.
Yeah, I wouldn't call the game an 'on rails' game. I would still want a more open world feel, and less dependance on combat. But that's a preference...not a comment on how well the did the game.  
I disagree, definitely had an "on rails" feel to me.  You start in a particular area and can't really explore even other areas of the same zone until you get your skills/gear up to PAR, and you certainly can't go to another zone without meeting the requirements 1st which is the classic theme park design to me.

What would be more interesting is if players could have slipped between all the zones right from the start, with varying levels of content in each zone, so that you had to return regularly to all of them, working what was level appropriate and avoiding that which was too strong.

They did a little bit of this, each zone had some content way over level, but not enough to take away the on rails feel, at least to me.

 




This is where a wasted discussion on what "on rails" means would usually start. However, I'm on to how MMORPG.com works. I will, at least this once, not fall for that trap.

I think it would have been a lot more interesting if players could go nearly anywhere, if out in the world the relative power levels of the players versus monsters didn't really matter. Then the focus would be off of combat and on the mysteries and such.

For every large, complex problem, there is a simple, clear solution that also happens to be absolutely wrong.

  Xasapis

Tipster

Joined: 1/12/07
Posts: 5587

11/07/12 10:38:40 AM#31
Originally posted by ShakyMo
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Xasapis
Yes, but you can have Dragonage and Skyrim. Both are themeparks, but one is on rails while the other isn't.

I believe most people call Skyrim a sandbox style game...

"most people" are wrong.  tes is more of a hybrid.  I guess if you have hearthfire that pushes skyrim into the sandbox side though.

Skyrim is definitely a themepark. You have your main quest storylines and then you have quest givers scattered all over the place. An mmorpg like this is an themepark without rails, the lack of structure doesn't make it a sandbox I'm afraid. If you want to look at sandbox, I'd check Mount & Blade, as an example.

And the presence of a story doesn't make a game "on rails" either, as Skyrim again has clearly demonstrated.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7649

Logic be damned!

11/07/12 10:46:32 AM#32

I think if a MMO wants to have a developer crafted story they can't half ass it.

Quests = half assed, far too limited what you can do w/o breaking the MMO model.

See TOR and GW2 - level restricted, fully instanced.

As a TOR dev once said (paraphrased) as an example- "You are limited by the MMORPG medium. You can't put a character in jail and take away all their gear like you can do in a single player RPG."

Simply put - it's hard to do a proper story in a MMO AND make it still a MMO.

So you either half ass the MMO part to make the story better, or half ass the RPG/story part to make the MMO part better.

See TOR, GW2, TSW, and in many ways WoW.

I'm tempted to say that they should just do like console games have been doing -

Disk 1 or whatever is the single player linear storyline - and sure you can bring 2-3 friends in to join your story and everything auto scales to your level/skills and group size.

Disk 2 is the "multiplayer" part - open world MMO w no attempt at story via quests or any such.

Free month means single player RPG fans could enjoy Disk 1, hell even allow it to be offline capable.

MMO fans could swap between them or ignore Disk 1 entirely.

Now Playing: D3:RoS
Looking Towards: Destiny

  ShakyMo

Apprentice Member

Joined: 11/21/11
Posts: 7246

11/07/12 11:32:21 AM#33
Originally posted by BadSpock

I think if a MMO wants to have a developer crafted story they can't half ass it.

Quests = half assed, far too limited what you can do w/o breaking the MMO model.

See TOR and GW2 - level restricted, fully instanced.

As a TOR dev once said (paraphrased) as an example- "You are limited by the MMORPG medium. You can't put a character in jail and take away all their gear like you can do in a single player RPG."

Simply put - it's hard to do a proper story in a MMO AND make it still a MMO.

So you either half ass the MMO part to make the story better, or half ass the RPG/story part to make the MMO part better.

See TOR, GW2, TSW, and in many ways WoW.

I'm tempted to say that they should just do like console games have been doing -

Disk 1 or whatever is the single player linear storyline - and sure you can bring 2-3 friends in to join your story and everything auto scales to your level/skills and group size.

Disk 2 is the "multiplayer" part - open world MMO w no attempt at story via quests or any such.

Free month means single player RPG fans could enjoy Disk 1, hell even allow it to be offline capable.

MMO fans could swap between them or ignore Disk 1 entirely.

to be fair to tsw it does the story part well.  It doesn't feel like a sub par sprpg, some bits feel like a top quality sprpg, other bits are more group orientated, not all its story stuff is solo instanced stuff like SWTOR.  also to be fair to GW2 the story thing is an option, you don't have to do it (i didn't)

  Ortwig

Novice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1023

11/07/12 6:27:38 PM#34
Originally posted by MMOwanderer

I don't think it would have made that much of a huge different. The content would still be the same, expect you could take it in any other. The complaints i've seen aren't about the actuall leveling experienc, including me, but what happens when you're finished with it. Endgame grind, apperantly.

I do wish TSW was a more sandbox/sandpark game, or had more system type cotent, instead of pure quet based stuff, but it is what it is.

There's been quite a bit of talk in recent interviews about horizontal progression.  I think Funcom is still figuring out exactly how that eill work, but I do believe they are on board with doing away with endgame grind.

  JeroKane

Elite Member

Joined: 2/21/06
Posts: 4671

11/08/12 3:02:36 AM#35
Originally posted by mmoDAD

I felt like I was on rails from the veyr beginning. I didn't make it out of beta.

I want to play a MMORPG - not a SPORPG

You people should try playing final fantasy XIII and XIII-2  or do some space missions in SW:TOR lol.

Then you know what "On Rails" experience is.

Sorry, but TSW is far from an "On Rails" experience.

TSW has some linearity to it in case of the Main Storyline, but for the rest you pretty much free to do what you like.

Sure in Solomons Island you have to start in Kingsmouth, then go to Savage Coast and then to Blue Mountains.

But by the time you end up in Egypt, you can do any zone there you like, as you will be at QL8ish level gear and have unlocked enough advanced abilities.

Hence, there are some parts in Blue Mountain that are harder than Egypt, I had to skip and save for later.

Funcom also keeps adding new missions with each updated, giving you incentive to keep going back to previous zones like Kingsmouth.

Due to the levelless skillbased system, you can always go back all the way to Kingsmouth and (re)do missions there and still get full XP rewards, unlike any other Themepark MMO where low level content grey out!

Guild Wars 2 tried to address that problem by implementing downscaling, but so far people don't seem to be interested to go back to old zones.  Unlike in TSW where I always see people returning to previous zones to redo some great missions or find new ones they missed!

 

But yeah sure.... if you have a linear mindset due to having played games like WoW for too long, basically conditioning you into such a mindset.... then you play TSW in a linear fashion!  But then you really miss out! /sigh

  fallenlords

Advanced Member

Joined: 5/16/10
Posts: 700

11/08/12 4:38:06 AM#36
Originally posted by halflife25

Sandbox, themepark, innovation who care. it is all about gameplay. Rift is perfect example that innovation means nothing as long as you deliver on content and keep your players engaged.

On the other hand FFXIV proves that innovation does not guarante success. I will take fun gameplay over innovation for sake of it any day.

Innovation for the sake of it is never going to sell games.  Reworking a tried and tested formula, should to all intents and purposes serve you well.  But if you don't improve on that formula, even marginally, then you are never going to have major success.  You need to do something better than other games to have commercial appeal. 

 

I agree gameplay is important.  But at the same time their is a distinct lack of innovation in the MMO market.  Nobody seems willing to take a risk, probably because of the development costs involved.   You play one MMO, you really have had the entire MMO experience.   Which is why I think a lot of people stick with WoW. It's not worth jumping ship to just have a similar experience in another game.

  MMOwanderer

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/23/12
Posts: 417

11/08/12 5:16:49 AM#37
Originally posted by Ortwig
Originally posted by MMOwanderer

I don't think it would have made that much of a huge different. The content would still be the same, expect you could take it in any other. The complaints i've seen aren't about the actuall leveling experienc, including me, but what happens when you're finished with it. Endgame grind, apperantly.

I do wish TSW was a more sandbox/sandpark game, or had more system type cotent, instead of pure quet based stuff, but it is what it is.

There's been quite a bit of talk in recent interviews about horizontal progression.  I think Funcom is still figuring out exactly how that eill work, but I do believe they are on board with doing away with endgame grind.

Yeah, i know. That's actually great, but the complaint is all related to a lack of content. This isn't hating on TSW, it's a themepark thing. Onc you're finished with the story leveling, which like i said is good, you're left grinding dungeons and repeatable missions.

If TSW added more systems based content, and fortunatly Funcom as been talking about, i'd actually start looking alot more into it, specially since they're catering to RP'ers right now. Personally, i'd love a Foundry system from NW.

Regarding the topic of "on rails", every game as some kind off linear element in some place. Unlock X to get Y, unlock Y to get Z.

But in terms of world design and leveling, i'd say TSW is far lesss linear than standart quest hub based themepark, since the game's missions allow me to explore any given directio within the zone. However, i'm still restricted by gear QL until 10. Also, there's only 1 unlocked zone at any given time until Transylvania. So there is still an on rails component.

In GW2's case it's still on rails too, since you're gated depending on levels, but more open than TSW since it gives you more zones to explore within any given power range aswell as DE working similar to missions in allowing you to explore the area in any direction.

To me, a real open ended exploration game would allow me to go to most locations and zones right from the begining, without hitting walls.

  Ortwig

Novice Member

Joined: 4/20/12
Posts: 1023

11/08/12 6:08:47 AM#38
Originally posted by MMOwanderer
Originally posted by Ortwig
Originally posted by MMOwanderer

I don't think it would have made that much of a huge different. The content would still be the same, expect you could take it in any other. The complaints i've seen aren't about the actuall leveling experienc, including me, but what happens when you're finished with it. Endgame grind, apperantly.

I do wish TSW was a more sandbox/sandpark game, or had more system type cotent, instead of pure quet based stuff, but it is what it is.

There's been quite a bit of talk in recent interviews about horizontal progression.  I think Funcom is still figuring out exactly how that eill work, but I do believe they are on board with doing away with endgame grind.

Yeah, i know. That's actually great, but the complaint is all related to a lack of content. This isn't hating on TSW, it's a themepark thing. Onc you're finished with the story leveling, which like i said is good, you're left grinding dungeons and repeatable missions.

If TSW added more systems based content, and fortunatly Funcom as been talking about, i'd actually start looking alot more into it, specially since they're catering to RP'ers right now. Personally, i'd love a Foundry system from NW.

Regarding the topic of "on rails", every game as some kind off linear element in some place. Unlock X to get Y, unlock Y to get Z.

But in terms of world design and leveling, i'd say TSW is far lesss linear than standart quest hub based themepark, since the game's missions allow me to explore any given directio within the zone. However, i'm still restricted by gear QL until 10. Also, there's only 1 unlocked zone at any given time until Transylvania. So there is still an on rails component.

In GW2's case it's still on rails too, since you're gated depending on levels, but more open than TSW since it gives you more zones to explore within any given power range aswell as DE working similar to missions in allowing you to explore the area in any direction.

To me, a real open ended exploration game would allow me to go to most locations and zones right from the begining, without hitting walls.

I'm with you on stuff like the Foundry -- I think all games should have it, even if there is also developer-created questing and content.  Also especially like that they will be adding a rating system so that the best stuff floats to the top.  Anything that increases the amount to do in the open world -- especially with themeparks -- is all good.

Also agree about the general zone linearity of TSW.  Within the general area progression, you can certainly bounce around and do the quests in any order you like (the lineearity is in the tiers of the quests), but yeah, you kind of have to be geared well enough to move on to the next major zone.  That said there's nothing preventing you from going to the next zone, as long as you don't mind it being significnatly harder -- I know a lot of people went to Egypt first before coming back to Blue Mountains.

But, yeah, in general, I wish more themeparks would stop tying "levels" to zones.  Why not open up a zone to quests of all levels of difficulty in the game?  I like the sidekicking in GW2 for specific sort of "training mode" it can put you in to group with friends.  

But for general questing, I'd like to see devs build in higher difficulty content in *all* the zones, so that when you return later, there are new challenges, not just the same old monsters that scale in difficulty to your level.  It's weird to be fighting challenging rats when you are wearing QL10; it's more natural that when you return in QL10, there are quests and monsters in that old zone that you didn't have to fight the first time around.

  GeezerGamer

Elite Member

Joined: 4/03/12
Posts: 4153

Remember the blisters you'd get in the palm of your hand from the corner of that joystick?

11/08/12 8:09:50 AM#39
Originally posted by Ortwig
Originally posted by MMOwanderer

I don't think it would have made that much of a huge different. The content would still be the same, expect you could take it in any other. The complaints i've seen aren't about the actuall leveling experienc, including me, but what happens when you're finished with it. Endgame grind, apperantly.

I do wish TSW was a more sandbox/sandpark game, or had more system type cotent, instead of pure quet based stuff, but it is what it is.

There's been quite a bit of talk in recent interviews about horizontal progression.  I think Funcom is still figuring out exactly how that eill work, but I do believe they are on board with doing away with endgame grind.

Now all they have to do is figure out how to get the all the players on board with that.

Recently started playing SWTOR. I am posting updates to my experience in this thread:
SWTOR Experience

  Chtuga

Novice Member

Joined: 8/04/09
Posts: 111

11/10/12 5:36:50 AM#40
Originally posted by MMOwanderer

To me, a real open ended exploration game would allow me to go to most locations and zones right from the begining, without hitting walls.

 

Im curious, how long do you expect yourself to play a game that had ALOT of content, but all the content was equal in difficulty and experience. Your character progression would not make you any stronger, because if you did then it would leave some content trivial.

To make a game truly open for exploration you need to throw away character progression as this in it self makes content "locked" or "trivial" 

 

Would you play such a game for years? Or would you just see it made, try it out and then leave it because "its not for you"?

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