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General Discussion Forum » The Pub at MMORPG.COM » Modern MMOs: Stop trying to make me into a special little snowflake.

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131 posts found
  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

11/20/12 1:21:24 PM#41
Originally posted by Icewhite

Sorry it bothers you.  Perhaps you should choose games that did not descend from RPGs, instead.

There are two different ideas clashing here: the idea of an RPG world and the idea of an RPG published module.

RPG modules were prepackaged stories with set encounters and set storylines which will be the same for every group that enters the dungeon.  These are the historic inspiration for themepark MMOs.

RPG campaign worlds on the other hand were/are a completely different experience - once the world is set in motion, multiple groups can be playing through the story arc from different angles, sometimes even visiting the same areas even the same dungeons, but the state of the world isn't same each time.  Once a monster is killed, it's killed.  Once a ring is found, it's found.  These are the historic inspiration for sandbox MMOs.

 

  fenistil

Novice Member

Joined: 9/22/11
Posts: 3016

11/20/12 1:37:42 PM#42
Originally posted by maplestone
Originally posted by Icewhite

Sorry it bothers you.  Perhaps you should choose games that did not descend from RPGs, instead.

There are two different ideas clashing here: the idea of an RPG world and the idea of an RPG published module.

RPG modules were prepackaged stories with set encounters and set storylines which will be the same for every group that enters the dungeon.  These are the historic inspiration for themepark MMOs.

RPG campaign worlds on the other hand were/are a completely different experience - once the world is set in motion, multiple groups can be playing through the story arc from different angles, sometimes even visiting the same areas even the same dungeons, but the state of the world isn't same each time.  Once a monster is killed, it's killed.  Once a ring is found, it's found.  These are the historic inspiration for sandbox MMOs.

 

You're right.

There was second "divide" also.   When I was young and was also playing tabletop rpg's once in a while in group of people I was playing with, 95% of times we were not following pre-bought campaign / module. 

Usually GM (there were few of them) made whole 'meeting' / play  himself.  So my group was creating situations/ games/stories itself most of the time rather than using bought external stories made by game creators or someone they gave license to.  

Game like Warhammer Fantasy Role Play or others were just providing setting, world, mechanics and basic rules.  Rest was filled by GM and our imagination.  Some GM's also were improvising alot.   Bought stories were miniority.

Campaign thing also happened. Exactly like you said. When other players actions could affect you indirectly, because they took something or dewstoyed something in a game you were not even participating but you in next game wanted to get it. (but it was taken by other player). Just an example cause that is not only about items ofc.

This group I was playing with did alot of things and creativity and tried to have cohesive and persistant world.  I was playing with them only semi-casually or if you prefer semi-hardcore.

  stayontarget

Guide

Joined: 10/04/08
Posts: 6149

Girlfriends come and go but Epic battles are Soulbound

11/20/12 1:44:56 PM#43
Originally posted by mmoDAD

I'm the chosen one... again.

A NPC has lost her ring... even though 1,000,000 players before me had found and returned it. Is she that stupid?

Now my own character talks for me? This doesn't feel like "me" anymore; it feels like I'm turning the pages of a fricken' book.

 

 

Quests should not be personalized. Any answer to a quest giver should be a simple YES or NO.

Probably not the best comparison to use.  Stories in books are never about the reader, but I understand where you are coming from.  Games need to have the story unfold around the player and not always have the player as the main plot in the story.

Velika: City of Wheels: Among the mortal races, the humans were the only one that never built cities or great empires; a curse laid upon them by their creator, Gidd, forced them to wander as nomads for twenty centuries...

  lizardbones

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10953

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

11/20/12 1:45:13 PM#44


Originally posted by maplestone

Originally posted by Icewhite Sorry it bothers you.  Perhaps you should choose games that did not descend from RPGs, instead.
There are two different ideas clashing here: the idea of an RPG world and the idea of an RPG published module.

RPG modules were prepackaged stories with set encounters and set storylines which will be the same for every group that enters the dungeon.  These are the historic inspiration for themepark MMOs.

RPG campaign worlds on the other hand were/are a completely different experience - once the world is set in motion, multiple groups can be playing through the story arc from different angles, sometimes even visiting the same areas even the same dungeons, but the state of the world isn't same each time.  Once a monster is killed, it's killed.  Once a ring is found, it's found.  These are the historic inspiration for sandbox MMOs.

 




Your second example is an unrealistic expectation. You can't scale that kind of interactivity to hundreds of thousands of people. Even thousands of people would be pretty impossible. Nobody could afford to pay the number of people it would take to keep updating the world's content to keep up.

That doesn't happen in sandbox MMORPG either. The changes happening in the games are changes to other players, not permanent changes to the status of the world itself.

I think if you want to avoid the special snowflake effect, you have to go with sandbox mmorpg though. So long as the game is dependent on quests or story for progression, you're not going to avoid being the hero of the story.

Something like NeverWinter might be the ticket...but that remains to be seen. There will definitely be player made content, but I don't know how much of a shared world that content will occupy. I'm pretty sure you won't be able to be a farmer though, because it will still be a theme park type game.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Vhaln

Novice Member

Joined: 7/07/05
Posts: 3167

11/20/12 1:52:49 PM#45
Originally posted by stayontarget
Originally posted by mmoDAD

Now my own character talks for me? This doesn't feel like "me" anymore; it feels like I'm turning the pages of a fricken' book.

Probably not the best comparison to use.  Stories in books are never about the reader, but I understand where you are coming from.  Games need to have the story unfold around the player and not always have the player as the main plot in the story.

 

OTOH, maybe that's a big part of the problem.  When they pose things that way, the game is about the character they're making me play, rather than a character that feels like my own.  It becomes more like reading about a hero in a story, rather than authoring my own story.

 

When I want a single-player story, I'll play a single-player game. When I play an MMO, I want a massively multiplayer world.

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

11/20/12 2:01:02 PM#46
Originally posted by Icewhite

At some point you have to recognize that no matter what, individual desires have to give way to the rest of the player base.

I don't agree - I think it's all in how your structure the world and database-editting privilages.  You can create a data structure that allows that same small-game customized feel all the way up into millions of players, but you have to allow the world to grow and you have to formalize who can edit what and when a little more.

 

  dancingstar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/19/11
Posts: 309

11/20/12 2:08:43 PM#47
Originally posted by Uhwop
Originally posted by dancingstar

This is pretty muich the intrinsic absurdity of the themepark MMORPG form & has been a known issue for 10 years or more (it is implied for instance in this interview with Richard Garriott from 2002).  Your choice is more or less, (a) ignore the absurdity (b) play a single-player or small-group co-op game where there aren't over 9000 other "heroes" running round the same world or (c) play a pure sandbox MMO.  Installing, logging into and playing a themepark MMORPG and complaining it has quests which present you as "The Hero" and whic hit makes no logical sense for every player character in the game world to have done makes about as much sense as installing and logging into Darkfall and complaining about other players killing your character and taking their stuff.

It may sound like a good idea that once someone defeats the Big Bad, he stays defeated & the entire game world changes to take this into account, but to do this in an MMORPG would be pretty much commercial suicide -- it would be spending developer resources to create content that could be completed by at most one raid party per server. Unless and until someone comes up with a good enough AI to dynamically create content and implement it in the game world as fast as the player base gets through it, it ain't gonna happen.

 He doesn't imply any of that. 

He straight up says that the future of MMO's is that of lobby based, social gaming.  He's been saying it rather vocally sinse about the time he stopped working on UO and started working on TR.  He even started a studio that's dedicated to building a portal system for lobby based social MMO's. 

TR was even designed kind of like a virtual lobby world.  There was the main hub world and you'd travel in it to various portals that took you to various "content" worlds.  TR was a bigger, more persistant version of what Anet eventually did with GW, and Turbine did with DDO. 

Gameplay is actually kind of irrelevent to what he was saying.  Sandbox, free form, or quest/ story driven, didn't really matter as long as it was fun.  Although, he believes that episodic story based content was the most viable approach.  If you're even a little familliar with NCsoft games, you'll notice that pretty much all of them released future content as episodes, as apposed to large retail expansions -think WoW-.  GW wasn't really any different, aside from relying on box sales in place of the subscription model. 

He was just preaching the same thing he's been preaching for the last 10+ years, the future of MMO's is lobby based social games.  It doesn't really mater to him if they're sandbox or themepark, as long as it's lobby based and social. 

He's was dreaming about being the Zynga games of virtual worlds before there was a Zynga games.  He's pretty much been talking about facebook MMO's sinse before everyone and there mother was using facebook to share what they're having for dinner and pictures of thier ugly ass kids. 

Agreed most of the interview has nothing to do with the point I was trying to make, I was referring to this passage:

"Well, one of the great things about solo player games is that you get to be the hero that saves the world. Every door you unlock, every feature you see, you experience it special as if you’re the first and only person who’s ever seen it…because you’re blissfully unaware of your next-door neighbor who’s playing the same game. The wonderful thing about an MMP is that you don’t have to go alone. You can actually go with your friends, which everyone has always wanted to do. The problem is that you can never get rid of everybody. Everybody is with you all the time, and so you go into a dungeon and people are qued up to kill the troll king and you just wait your turn."

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20541

11/20/12 2:09:36 PM#48
Originally posted by Vhaln
Originally posted by stayontarget
Originally posted by mmoDAD

Now my own character talks for me? This doesn't feel like "me" anymore; it feels like I'm turning the pages of a fricken' book.

Probably not the best comparison to use.  Stories in books are never about the reader, but I understand where you are coming from.  Games need to have the story unfold around the player and not always have the player as the main plot in the story.

 

OTOH, maybe that's a big part of the problem.  When they pose things that way, the game is about the character they're making me play, rather than a character that feels like my own.  It becomes more like reading about a hero in a story, rather than authoring my own story.

 

Why is that a problem? It is just a matter of preference. Lots of hit single player games have the player play "their character" instead of yourself. This includes highly rated RPGs like FF7.

There is no reason why MMO cannot have this as well, if it is done well. In fact, the new Marvel Heroes will be completely different from other MMOs in this aspect, and allows you to play marvel characters instead of your own. I think it is a refreshing change.

  nariusseldon

Elite Member

Joined: 12/21/07
Posts: 20541

11/20/12 2:10:40 PM#49
Originally posted by dancingstar

"Well, one of the great things about solo player games is that you get to be the hero that saves the world. Every door you unlock, every feature you see, you experience it special as if you’re the first and only person who’s ever seen it…because you’re blissfully unaware of your next-door neighbor who’s playing the same game. The wonderful thing about an MMP is that you don’t have to go alone. You can actually go with your friends, which everyone has always wanted to do. The problem is that you can never get rid of everybody. Everybody is with you all the time, and so you go into a dungeon and people are qued up to kill the troll king and you just wait your turn."

You don't have to. That is what instances are for. No waiting. It is as-if you are alone (with your group).

  maplestone

Novice Member

Joined: 12/10/08
Posts: 3109

11/20/12 2:26:09 PM#50
Originally posted by lizardbones

Your second example is an unrealistic expectation. You can't scale that kind of interactivity to hundreds of thousands of people. Even thousands of people would be pretty impossible. Nobody could afford to pay the number of people it would take to keep updating the world's content to keep up.
 

With respect, I disagree.  Creating dynamic plotlines and accumulated history is a matter of having good simulations and good database designs.  No, it's not easy, but neither is the complexity of animation that games have today - but iternation by iteration we've gotten more and more dancing avatars.  I feel that when it comes to making better plot, ecology and event generation, MMOs haven't even scratched the surface of what's possible.

If anything, I think we're reached a point where it's impossible for devs to keep up with the stories they want to see unfold.  Take WoW for example: there's a war breaking out between the Horde and the Alliance.  How much of that do you actually see in the world?  It took them months to create a single scenario around a single battle.  The rest of the world is completely unchanged.  There simply isn't enough time and money to manually update the world around every plotline in progress.  Because the stories they want to tell are not a part of the mechanics of the game they have created, every single event has to be manually redrawn.  It's horribly inefficient.

 

  Loktofeit

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12405

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

11/20/12 2:26:43 PM#51
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by mmoDAD

I'm the chosen one... again.

A NPC has lost her ring... even though 1,000,000 players before me had found and returned it. Is she that stupid?

Now my own character talks for me? This doesn't feel like "me" anymore; it feels like I'm turning the pages of a fricken' book.

 

 

Quests should not be personalized. Any answer to a quest giver should be a simple YES or NO.

Sorry it bothers you.  Perhaps you should choose games that did not descend from RPGs, instead.

It's not because the games descend from RPGs. It's because some developers (the WoW clone devs mostly) don't understand the strengths of an MMO..

 

Since you felt compelled to correct him, could you share what you are basing that on?

Hopefully it's not some weak "just look around" crap and that there's actual meat to your reply. It would be great to hear from an industry insider like you rather than from some armchair developer that talks out his ass on topics he doesn't know a damn thing about.

 

"And wikipedia is as accurate as Britannica. Wikipedia is very reliable. You would be hard pressed to find a more reliable source for these kinds of things." -fivoroth

  dancingstar

Hard Core Member

Joined: 11/19/11
Posts: 309

11/20/12 2:35:21 PM#52
Originally posted by nariusseldon
Originally posted by dancingstar

"Well, one of the great things about solo player games is that you get to be the hero that saves the world. Every door you unlock, every feature you see, you experience it special as if you’re the first and only person who’s ever seen it…because you’re blissfully unaware of your next-door neighbor who’s playing the same game. The wonderful thing about an MMP is that you don’t have to go alone. You can actually go with your friends, which everyone has always wanted to do. The problem is that you can never get rid of everybody. Everybody is with you all the time, and so you go into a dungeon and people are qued up to kill the troll king and you just wait your turn."

You don't have to. That is what instances are for. No waiting. It is as-if you are alone (with your group).

Yeah, pretty much in the next sentence he describes instancing as a way to deal with that.

For the most part I choose to live with or ignore the absurdity, and accept that when I leave the instance after killing the troll king the game world will still be infested with trolls who will carry on like nothing has changed.

  wordiz

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/13/12
Posts: 481

11/20/12 2:43:31 PM#53
Stupid find the ring quests will always exist and with set dialogue options the format really becomes static. However, I agree, I don't want my character going on political rants and dropping knowledge I have yet to aquire. It makes me feel like I'm possesing someone, not being them. If a system like that needs to be in place, there should be more choice in the personality and behavior of your character. I still think you can do the simple yes or no format though and just work in different dialogue options, similar to an Elder Scrolls game or an older Bioware title. That's always been the best system. If you're going to do voice acted cut scenes that give the player no control at least make interesting characters...that's how the FF series always got away with it.

http://thewordiz.wordpress.com/

  User Deleted
11/20/12 2:48:55 PM#54
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by DavisFlight
Originally posted by Icewhite
Originally posted by mmoDAD

I'm the chosen one... again.

A NPC has lost her ring... even though 1,000,000 players before me had found and returned it. Is she that stupid?

Now my own character talks for me? This doesn't feel like "me" anymore; it feels like I'm turning the pages of a fricken' book.

 

 

Quests should not be personalized. Any answer to a quest giver should be a simple YES or NO.

Sorry it bothers you.  Perhaps you should choose games that did not descend from RPGs, instead.

It's not because the games descend from RPGs. It's because some developers (the WoW clone devs mostly) don't understand the strengths of an MMO..

 

Since you felt compelled to correct him, could you share what you are basing that on?

Hopefully it's not some weak "just look around" crap and that there's actual meat to your reply. It would be great to hear from an industry insider like you rather than from some armchair developer that talks out his ass on topics he doesn't know a damn thing about.

 

in WoW game tells to player that he should be happy now.

in RPG your own decisions makes you feel happy.

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

11/20/12 2:55:59 PM#55

... because the alternative is thus far pretty much impossible to program and maintain.

The answer is NOT 100% player to player interaction with zero NPC's or developer crafted anything because 75% of players are morons and the game would end up like Second Life.

The answer is ridiculously complex multi-layered AI but the complexities of the sytem neccessary to make it work in a MMO is.. staggering to even try and explain on this forum.

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5725

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

11/20/12 3:04:27 PM#56
Originally posted by mmoDAD

Now my own character talks for me? This doesn't feel like "me" anymore; it feels like I'm turning the pages of a fricken' book.

It was never "you" or you're doing something wrong.

I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been -Wayne Gretzky

  User Deleted
11/20/12 3:11:19 PM#57
Originally posted by BadSpock

... because the alternative is thus far pretty much impossible to program and maintain.

The answer is NOT 100% player to player interaction with zero NPC's or developer crafted anything because 75% of players are morons and the game would end up like Second Life.

The answer is ridiculously complex multi-layered AI but the complexities of the sytem neccessary to make it work in a MMO is.. staggering to even try and explain on this forum.

Im just playing this unnamed game,theres lots of sand in the box and theres lots of quests also and i mean like alot,anyways,Im feeling quite heroic there,since im not killig that girl because she was so good looking,i didnt kill that grand father because i felt that his wife would be sad,i didnt kill that dog because it felt wrong etc..

i didnt care about rewards ,i just did what i felt is right.

Theres plenty of ways.

 

  BadSpock

Hard Core Member

Joined: 8/21/04
Posts: 7769

Logic be damned!

11/20/12 3:12:53 PM#58
Originally posted by ForumPvP
Originally posted by BadSpock

... because the alternative is thus far pretty much impossible to program and maintain.

The answer is NOT 100% player to player interaction with zero NPC's or developer crafted anything because 75% of players are morons and the game would end up like Second Life.

The answer is ridiculously complex multi-layered AI but the complexities of the sytem neccessary to make it work in a MMO is.. staggering to even try and explain on this forum.

Im just playing this unnamed game,theres lots of sand in the box and theres lots of quests also and i mean like alot,anyways,Im feeling quite heroic there,since im not killig that girl because she was so good looking,i didnt kill that grand father because i felt that his wife would be sad,i didnt kill that dog because it felt wrong etc..

i didnt care about rewards ,i just did what i felt is right.

Theres plenty of ways.

What game would that be?

Now Playing: Destiny, WoW

  lizardbones

Hard Core Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10953

I think with my heart and move with my head.-Kongos

11/20/12 3:22:46 PM#59


Originally posted by maplestone

Originally posted by lizardbones Your second example is an unrealistic expectation. You can't scale that kind of interactivity to hundreds of thousands of people. Even thousands of people would be pretty impossible. Nobody could afford to pay the number of people it would take to keep updating the world's content to keep up.  
With respect, I disagree.  Creating dynamic plotlines and accumulated history is a matter of having good simulations and good database designs.  No, it's not easy, but neither is the complexity of animation that games have today - but iternation by iteration we've gotten more and more dancing avatars.  I feel that when it comes to making better plot, ecology and event generation, MMOs haven't even scratched the surface of what's possible.

If anything, I think we're reached a point where it's impossible for devs to keep up with the stories they want to see unfold.  Take WoW for example: there's a war breaking out between the Horde and the Alliance.  How much of that do you actually see in the world?  It took them months to create a single scenario around a single battle.  The rest of the world is completely unchanged.  There simply isn't enough time and money to manually update the world around every plotline in progress.  Because the stories they want to tell are not a part of the mechanics of the game they have created, every single event has to be manually redrawn.  It's horribly inefficient.

 




As an experiment, try designing some dynamic plot lines on paper. Completely ignore the technical details of how it would happen and focus on what would actually happen for the player. Create a pool of resources for the system to pull from, and then walk through the scenarios. Do a story board kind of thing. The number of options you have to have available will escalate quickly because the system will not be intelligent enough to create those options on the fly like a person would. Once you've done that, think about scaling the process up for an entire game. The source options for a small town are not going to be the same source options for a large city and they won't work for the bandit camp either.

I do not write game software, but I do write business software, and one of the things I've done is simulations. One thing simulators have going for them is that they tend to simplify the processes involved, and the things they simulate are repetitive. That's the advantage of using them, instead of waiting for thousands of calls to come in, you can model it using SimPy and have an idea of what those thousands of calls are going to do in a couple seconds. If the behaviors are not repetitive, the simulation doesn't work. You have to write a new set of rules for each stage of the simulation. I can see how this might be possible in a game environment, but I can also see how easy it would be to bork the whole thing with a player doing something unexpected. I can see how much work that would be in a game because the behaviors being modeled are more complex than what usually get modeled too. The desirable process is a simple model that yields complex results. In a game, you would have a complex model that would yield complex results. You might have a complex model that yields simple results...who knows. I don't think anyone is doing this so it's hard to say. Anyway, I think the systems required would be an order of magnitude harder to produce than a quest engine, and you'd still have to produce at least the same amount of content to feed into the engine so that it can feed the content to the players.

Even a "Choose Your Own Adventure" style system escalates quickly. I thought this would have been awesome for SWToR, but after I worked out some possible story branches, I realized how much additional work it would be to give each class two options at a couple different points in the story line. It was both ridiculous and disappointing. If the story lines didn't merge back together quickly, you went from doubling the amount of content to have eight or ten times the content after a few choices.

It comes down to the scale of what you're doing and whether it relates to quest type story content. If you don't have the story dependency, it becomes a lot more possible. Players might come across a town that is being attacked by zombies. The zombies seem to be organized and they're coming from a cave, so the players can go to the cave and realize the source of the zombies is an intelligent zombie that once killed, makes the rest of the zombies easy to kill. While the town is free of the zombies, prices in the town go down, more resources become available for sale, the town prospers. If the players move on, eventually the zombies return because they like the cave and eventually the town is back to its original sad state. This whole thing is dynamic, depending on the players, but it's also repetitive (cyclical), making it possible. It's a far cry from actually being truly dynamic or a simulation though. For one, it's one, tiny part of a game world. All of the rules for that one town won't work in the next town, or the city across the continent. Every scenario would have its own rules and its own scripts. It's probably exponentially easier to make a bunch of cr@ppy quests, sell 2 million copies of your game and then write another one.

I can not remember winning or losing a single debate on the internet.

  Slampig

Hard Core Member

Joined: 12/29/03
Posts: 2405

Whatever you do, do NOT speak ill of Asheron's Call 2...

11/20/12 3:29:58 PM#60
Originally posted by mmoDAD

I'm the chosen one... again.

A NPC has lost her ring... even though 1,000,000 players before me had found and returned it. Is she that stupid?

Now my own character talks for me? This doesn't feel like "me" anymore; it feels like I'm turning the pages of a fricken' book.

 

 

Quests should not be personalized. Any answer to a quest giver should be a simple YES or NO.

Haha, you know you are talking about RPGs, right? Quests have ALWAYS been personalized, back to the pencil and paper versions of these games. *sigh*

That Guild Wars 2 login screen knocked up my wife. Must be the second coming!

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