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General Discussion Forum » The Pub at MMORPG.COM » Community/Social stuff's importance in MMOs.

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61 posts found
  Rydeson

Elite Member

Joined: 3/05/07
Posts: 3561

12/21/12 5:46:56 AM#41

Old school community vs. new school community..  hmmmm   I'll take old school any day and twice on Sundays..

     Generally speaking, current MMO's are more lobby based, then anything, besides being "solo" focused..  Most of the game mechanics are designed for the single solo player, and less to do with communities..  Lets take a look at quest..  These little breadcrumb treats are entirely designed to take a single players hand, and lead them down a path from one hub to another.. In fact they are more of a hurdle and hinderance to grouping then anything..   In any given zone you'll find an average of 50 to 100+ quest to be taken by the individual and be completed by the individual..  Sure there are a few group quest tossed in there for PR, but in all, they are nothing to sustain a group..

     When you have quest chains as we have, I might be on quest 35 and others will be somewhere else on that chain.. Some ahead of me, and some behind me.. How often do people repeat previously completed quest just for the sake of grouping?  And how often once you do complete it, the other person, disbands and takes off doing their own thing?  I personally hate quest chains with a passion and wish they NEVER became part of the world.. Today's MMO's are actually trying to redefine quest to meaning something they are not..  These aren't quest, but "to do" list chores.. A quest is what we used to do in EQ for our epic weapons.. A quest is what Frodo did in LoTR..  Going to Billy's farm and collect 10 apples, or kill 10 wolves is not questing..  Anyways..

     If devs really want to be more social friendly, turn ALL current quest into repeatable chores..  This way people can and will group for a common purpose without needing to be all in the same step of the quest chain..  If I or my group want to roam the entire zone for action, we have that options, but if I or my group want to camp a specific location, we have that option too.. Instead of doing a "kill 10 wolves" quest, we do "collect 10 wolf paws".. As I said repeatable too.. So if I or my group farm wolves for 3 hours and collect 50 pristine worlf paws, I can then quit for the day, return to NPC and turn in 50 worlf paws for 5 completed chore rewards..  If the zone is set up correctly, you can have roaming wolves for the solo player, and have dens (aka camps) for the groups..

     Why should groups break up or disband because someone left, and you were unable to find a replacement?  Instead, let the group survive and continue their fun and maybe they can add that "solo" person that was farming roaming wolves to the group..  Adventuring in a zone needs to allow meaningful options for both solo and group play, but there also needs to be incentives, or fun for group play, without it turning into a "group or die" game as well..  This means that I do not want to see group play turn into what we have for end game.. You have to group up to get gear to keep playing or die off.. Group play should be for NON-advantage incentives, such as.. As a group you get to go into a dungeon that is NOT instanced, which a solo player would stand no chance in surviving..  As a result those group players might stumble across a special reward that is unique, but not power unbalanced.. It might have a +1 bonus to something that is not OP, but the look may be unique and special..

     Crafting needs to be more vibrant as well.. Today's crafting is not social friendly, but it treated as a hobby like fishing.. 90% of the items crafted must have some form of importance to the characters, world and community.. When I played WoW, The most I could make was maybe a couple items that could be used for Heroics, but soon as you started raiding, or did Heroics, that gear became obsolete..Crafted items should not become vendor trash.. Additionally, leveling needs to slow down as well, so that crafted items or rewards items have some form of importance beyond that day..  I hated that 99% of the reward items became worthless later that weekend.. lol..  And crafted items.. OMG.. I would go out and get mats, gain experience and by the time I had enough mats to skill up, I had already outlevled the item was going to make.. It's just a joke..

     When I first started playing EQ before Kunark was even launched, I had sought out a leather worker to make me some studded gear.. People did the same looking for blacksmiths that could make banded armor, etc etc..  Crafted items early on had importance, and usefulness..  Who all here remembers how much fun it was to be a master crafter in fletching and have a regular list of customers.. Even in WoW, it was great to earn enough faction to get the new arrow recipes that we used to supply people we knew, and the guild..  Those were the days.. 

  Alberel

Novice Member

Joined: 12/02/09
Posts: 1121

12/21/12 5:53:52 AM#42
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by CalmOceans
Originally posted by Quirhid
All games gather a community. They don't have any specific features in them. Its just elitist to pick which is a "real community".

This is totally 100 percent false.

Going from a game like EQ which was a community marvel where everyone literally sat around and talked to each other, to games like WoW where no one bothered to say a word to another person was like night and day difference. And it's much worse in current games even.

I couldn't believe when I played Guild Wars how literally no one talked, the reason I uninstalled the game was for that reason only. The game had no community whatsoever.

The way a community, or lack thereof, acts, is very dependent on the game mechanics.

 

 

This is Everquest where people literally sat their character down to talk to others. People sitting down on that picture and many standing, are not AFK but they are there to chat to others. It's a shame you can't see the UI or you would see people talking.

Tell me again how it doesn't depend on the game. In current games people don't say a word to strangers.

 

Seriously, if you want to know what makes a community in a game a real community, ask any EQ player who played EQ anywhere from the beginning to where they introduced the guild lobby. They know.

EQ was a community marvel, saying it doesn't depend on the game is false. I have played enough MMO to know not every game has a real community. A few strangers walking around never talking to each other is not a community.

This is a community:

[removed the image]

Then how come I formed relationships that lasted years beyond just Guild Wars, knew a dozen of other guilds and played with them in other games aswell? GW1 had a very healthy RP community too which is a proof that a community (and RP) can form and thrive with or without instances. I've never had a friendlist as long as I had in GW. The fansite forums were also quite lively.

No community my ass... Maybe only because you weren't in it.

A RP community isn't THE community of the game, it's a part of it. EQ1 had roleplayers within its community but the community itself involved everyone that played the game, you couldn't not be a part of the community by the very nature of the game. The example you gave is just a case of people outside of the game using forums to organise RP events and you met people through that. You can do that in any game, but the fact is you have to actively seek it out to do so. Game's with very strong communities require you to contribute to said community in order to be successful in the game.

Edit: Just to explain a point here, I notice a lot of people getting hung up on the 'I made friends in X game so it had a community'. No, that does not equal a community. A game community is something that involves everyone in said game, not just a few cliques. A guild is not a community, it is a clique.

  Quirhid

Elite Member

Joined: 1/28/05
Posts: 5725

Correcting wrongs on the Internet...

12/21/12 6:15:55 AM#43
Originally posted by Alberel
Originally posted by Quirhid
Originally posted by CalmOceans
Originally posted by Quirhid
All games gather a community. They don't have any specific features in them. Its just elitist to pick which is a "real community".

Then how come I formed relationships that lasted years beyond just Guild Wars, knew a dozen of other guilds and played with them in other games aswell? GW1 had a very healthy RP community too which is a proof that a community (and RP) can form and thrive with or without instances. I've never had a friendlist as long as I had in GW. The fansite forums were also quite lively.

No community my ass... Maybe only because you weren't in it.

A RP community isn't THE community of the game, it's a part of it. EQ1 had roleplayers within its community but the community itself involved everyone that played the game, you couldn't not be a part of the community by the very nature of the game. The example you gave is just a case of people outside of the game using forums to organise RP events and you met people through that. You can do that in any game, but the fact is you have to actively seek it out to do so. Game's with very strong communities require you to contribute to said community in order to be successful in the game.

Edit: Just to explain a point here, I notice a lot of people getting hung up on the 'I made friends in X game so it had a community'. No, that does not equal a community. A game community is something that involves everyone in said game, not just a few cliques. A guild is not a community, it is a clique.

I was not involved in the RP community, I don't know how they operated. I only saw a lot of them, and they were talked about many times over in dev reports and forums.

My earlier reply was directed for posters like yourself. I highlighted it for you.

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

  Kyleran

Bitter Vet™

Joined: 9/13/06
Posts: 19514

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

12/21/12 7:16:40 AM#44
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Aelious
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Aelious
I think the better question is how important a GOOD community is. Forced grouping through hard content may not sound warm and fuzzy but it worked. With the plethora of newer solo centric themeparks how many have showed the same signs as EQ did?

Is it your contention that UO, Puzzle Pirates and AC didn't have good communities? What is your view of the communities in Free Realms and Wizard 101?

Are you calling those games "newer solo centric themeparks"? I'm not sure if those games have good communities or not but I was posing the question to those that play them.  There's an opinion that you don't need forced grouping in order to build a good community, which I agree with, but I'm interested to know how effective it really is compared to group centered MMOs.  EQ had grouping that if not forced was advisable and my server had a good community.  On the other hand I have played WoW and though it wasn't a horrible community did not even come close.

When you are "forced" into something it never sounds good, I get that.  I'm just wondering how solo centric MMO communities stack up against group centric MMO communities.

So, Is it your contention that UO, Puzzle Pirates and AC didn't have good communities?

 

No idea, never played any of them. But I did play several of the early MMORPGs that strongly encouraged player interdependence and their communities were far more social than games of today. Heck, even WOW had a much more social community it's early days, pre-BC, and declined steadily over time. Haven't found a solo-centric MMO since 2004 that could compare.

Earlier than UO and AC?

 

You seem to be making the same false assumption that Aelious is making - that because there was forced grouping through hard content and good community in EQ then forced grouping and hard content is what makes community happen. This has led to your false conclusion that the solo nature of the current games is what leads to lack of community.

 

UO and AC were around the time of EQ. They both had great communities and they both offered predominantly solo gameplay. There's no logical or historical connection between tethered PvE mechanics and the quality of the community in a game.

 

You're just messing with me, you know better than to make such a simplistic assumption that it was the forced grouping alone by itself that encouraged a better community.  You had to factor in things such as downtime mechanics between fights as being part of the overall equation, coupled with less direct designs such as dropped loot being freely passed around in DAOC because it just wasn't that valuable, people didn't fight to ninja it very often. (except respec stones from Dragon fights, some people would steal those in a heartbeat and not give them up)

And I know you are also aware of other methods of encouraging player interaction in a MMORPG which I'm sure titles such as AC and UO had, (as well as SWG later on) so there is no one magic formula for creating stronger, more socially interactive communities.

But the majority of the player community isn't really looking for more interaction it seems, they're here "just to play a game"

Which is fine, they know what they want, regardless what I'd prefer.

Despite its reputation, EVE actually has one of the better communities I've ever experienced, you just have to learn how to navigate it properly.

 

 

 

Arrogant, Condescending, Dismissive, Elitist, "Meany", you speak as if these are bad things?
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  MumboJumbo

Advanced Member

Joined: 7/18/10
Posts: 3207

Veni, Vidi, Converti

12/21/12 7:36:04 AM#45
Probably the most challenging variable for mmorpgs - but also one that is most important?
  Loktofeit

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

12/21/12 10:35:30 AM#46
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Kyleran
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Aelious
Originally posted by Loktofeit
Originally posted by Aelious
I think the better question is how important a GOOD community is. Forced grouping through hard content may not sound warm and fuzzy but it worked. With the plethora of newer solo centric themeparks how many have showed the same signs as EQ did?

Is it your contention that UO, Puzzle Pirates and AC didn't have good communities? What is your view of the communities in Free Realms and Wizard 101?

Are you calling those games "newer solo centric themeparks"? I'm not sure if those games have good communities or not but I was posing the question to those that play them.  There's an opinion that you don't need forced grouping in order to build a good community, which I agree with, but I'm interested to know how effective it really is compared to group centered MMOs.  EQ had grouping that if not forced was advisable and my server had a good community.  On the other hand I have played WoW and though it wasn't a horrible community did not even come close.

When you are "forced" into something it never sounds good, I get that.  I'm just wondering how solo centric MMO communities stack up against group centric MMO communities.

So, Is it your contention that UO, Puzzle Pirates and AC didn't have good communities?

 

No idea, never played any of them. But I did play several of the early MMORPGs that strongly encouraged player interdependence and their communities were far more social than games of today. Heck, even WOW had a much more social community it's early days, pre-BC, and declined steadily over time. Haven't found a solo-centric MMO since 2004 that could compare.

Earlier than UO and AC?

 

You seem to be making the same false assumption that Aelious is making - that because there was forced grouping through hard content and good community in EQ then forced grouping and hard content is what makes community happen. This has led to your false conclusion that the solo nature of the current games is what leads to lack of community.

 

UO and AC were around the time of EQ. They both had great communities and they both offered predominantly solo gameplay. There's no logical or historical connection between tethered PvE mechanics and the quality of the community in a game.

 

You're just messing with me, you know better than to make such a simplistic assumption that it was the forced grouping alone by itself that encouraged a better community. 

I think you misread my post.

 

"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

  lizardbones

Advanced Member

Joined: 6/11/08
Posts: 10953

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

12/21/12 11:12:35 AM#47


Originally posted by Enigmatus
I see a lot of posts about what current MMOs are lacking: Sandbox stuff, "deep" economy/crafting/whatever the hell I don't really care about at the moment, etc.

But one sticks out to me: community.

My question that is bugging me is: If community is so important in an MMO, and if it is so lacking right now, what exactly (or what combination of things) creates that communication/social aspect in the first place?




There's two ways to look at communities.

One is just a group of people who interact in a variety of ways. They buy and sell from each other, they deliver packages to each other, or they just wave at each other from across the street.

The other is personal interactions where you make friends and enemies and keep a list of the two types of people you want to remember. Generally you can do all the stuff that a less personal community does, but in addition to that, you consider certain people to be known, and certain people to be unknown.

The difference between "then" and "now" is the size of the people available for communities. Instead of possibly seeing a couple hundred people when you play, you see a couple thousand or more people when you play. The second type of community becomes much harder to assemble when you have thousands of parts, rather than hundreds of parts. Humans naturally keep track of about 150 people at a time. In virtual worlds, the real world, whatever, humans have a list about 150 people long of their community. It's easier to build that list from hundreds, rather than thousands of people.

I can see some posts on forced grouping, but that's not all that different from optional grouping. Forced grouping isn't all that forced, because people have an idea that that is what the game is like going in. They are choosing to group up and engage in goal directed activities, same as the people who are optionally grouping up. The only real difference is the number of people that you can potentially group up with. I think a modern game with "forced" grouping would suffer some of the same issues as games like WoW suffer from. There's just too many people and they change too much to really build what some people consider a community.

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

  Icewhite

Made History

Joined: 7/11/11
Posts: 6495

Pink, it's like red but not quite.

12/21/12 11:24:20 AM#48

Remember when meeting people involved drinking in bars?

Our moden age with computerized interaction just lacks the important community-building alcoholism.

Self-pity imprisons us in the walls of our own self-absorption. The whole world shrinks down to the size of our problem, and the more we dwell on it, the smaller we are and the larger the problem seems to grow.

  apocoluster

Novice Member

Joined: 4/15/07
Posts: 1305

\m/,

12/21/12 11:46:39 AM#49
Originally posted by Icewhite

Remember when meeting people involved drinking in bars?

Our moden age with computerized interaction just lacks the important community-building alcoholism.

lol ^5  Icewhite..good one

No matter how cynical you become, its never enough to keep up - Lily Tomlin

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2548

World > Quest Progression

12/21/12 12:19:25 PM#50
Lok

It's not a false assumption as it was experienced by myself first hand. Taking that experience further into what makes sense i have come up with my opinion. If you don't agree with it that's fine but please provide reasoning as you may be able to sway me.

Group-centric gameplay that is not controlled by hidden mechanics, such as auto grouping features, causes a certain interdependence and attributes to a better community IMO.

See that I say "attributes". It's not the only reason for it neither to I think that solo-centric games cannot have good communities. It's hard to gauge how humans are going to interact in any given situation.

As far as UO is concerned that was a very group centric game if I'm not mistaken. PvE may have had a lot of solo content but what about PvP lol. UO players please let me know if I'm wrong.
  Beatnik59

Elite Member

Joined: 11/23/05
Posts: 2261

"Playing things I shouldn''t be playing since 1977."

12/21/12 1:52:08 PM#51

I think there are a lot of good ideas here.

But unless we solve the voice chat issue, I'm afraid these ideas won't matter much.  And the first step to solving the voice chat issue is to acknowledge that it is an issue.

__________________________
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  Bob_Blawblaw

Novice Member

Joined: 1/11/06
Posts: 1316

12/21/12 2:00:36 PM#52
Originally posted by MumboJumbo
Probably the most challenging variable for mmorpgs - but also one that is most important?

This is the truth as I see it.

Community is a wild card.

People quit MMO's because of crappy communities.

People join and stay because of great communities.

But it's lightening in a bottle in most cases. So in order to control the damage done by having a crappy community, developers seem to be leaning towards having as little meaningful personal interaction between players as possible.

Eliminating the need for players to interact with each is one of the best way to shield your playerbase from dwindling numbers.

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2548

World > Quest Progression

12/21/12 2:37:01 PM#53
Voice Chat's usefulness depends on where you get it and how it's implemented.

VC is one reason I can't wait to see details on EQN. Not only does EQ2 and PS2 have integrated voice chat but I think both have "proximity voice chat", PS2 does, and EQ2 has SoEMote for avatars to "talk" to eachother.

If in EQN you can walk up to random people and VC with them while your avatars mimic your actual facial features I think that would be a boon to it's community.
  Loktofeit

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

12/21/12 2:37:36 PM#54
Originally posted by Aelious
Lok

It's not a false assumption as it was experienced by myself first hand. Taking that experience further into what makes sense i have come up with my opinion. If you don't agree with it that's fine but please provide reasoning as you may be able to sway me.

Group-centric gameplay that is not controlled by hidden mechanics, such as auto grouping features, causes a certain interdependence and attributes to a better community IMO.

See that I say "attributes". It's not the only reason for it neither to I think that solo-centric games cannot have good communities. It's hard to gauge how humans are going to interact in any given situation.

As far as UO is concerned that was a very group centric game if I'm not mistaken. PvE may have had a lot of solo content but what about PvP lol. UO players please let me know if I'm wrong.

"I think the better question is how important a GOOD community is. Forced grouping through hard content may not sound warm and fuzzy but it worked. With the plethora of newer solo centric themeparks how many have showed the same signs as EQ did?"

Your statement seems to be that the newer MMOs lack the community that EQ had because they are solo centric themeparks and lack the forced grouping through hard content. Am I correct in my understanding of your stance there? If not, please clarify what you meant by that and why you specifically bring up forced grouping and solo centric as the differentiators.

If I am understanding you correctly, then my assertion is that your assumption is false which is what led you to the false conclusion. Are you suggesting that the EQ players were so broken that they needed to be forced together, while players of other MMOs were able to form healthy communities that have lasted for a decade or more? Or are you suggesting that UO, AC, and other games that lacked forced grouping through hard content did not have good communities?

When people take the "forced grouping makes community" they use EQ as their example, despite so many other MMOs  without that aspect also having good communities. It's as if the other MMOs simply did not exist.  EQ had a tight community because of a dozen or so different reasons.  Making people sit and do nothing together so that one eventually talks to the other simply isn't one of them, although it can contribute to it. If that was the main source of community building or even a major driving force in bringin the community together, then the players of EQ were so horribly maladjusted that it's amazing they could function in society at all.

 

Solo centric gameplay doesn't hinder community building, the lack of tools to build communities does.

 

Developers often create group content which is little more than a goal that necessitates being tied to 3 -7 other players. That's fun and all but it is the content and mechanics that allow players to collaborate or divide that builds community. What's interesting is that one of the reasons community becomes more prevalent at 'end game' in many of these MMOs is because players start to divide up into likeminded groups. You end up with guilds that have actual goals - loot runs, running new players through content, DKP whores, etc. People gravitate toward the group that best fits their gameplay. The communities build as people who have common in-game interests and common in-game goals find each other.

Gathering spots have been replaced with central city and global chat. You don't know who most of those people are, nor do you care, right? Now think about EQ. I bet you could tell me right now, a decade later, what town you hung out at, who hung out there and what the locals were like. There was probably even another town that was your 'rivials' in some context.

The easy part of EQ - the DikuMUD kill/loot/ding design - is what later games copied. The actual soul of the game got lost in translation.

 

"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

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2548

World > Quest Progression

12/21/12 2:59:36 PM#55
I can't be more clear about my stance, sorry. What's funny is that group required content could be considered a "community building tool" :)
  Loktofeit

Advanced Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 12406

Currently playing EVE, SMITE, ArcheAge, and Combat Arms

12/21/12 3:07:30 PM#56
Originally posted by Aelious
I can't be more clear about my stance, sorry. What's funny is that group required content could be considered a "community building tool" :)

Agreed. That's very different from your initial statement which was 'forced grouping' and that the absence of it is why newer games don't have community.

 

 

"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

  Aelious

Elite Member

Joined: 9/27/11
Posts: 2548

World > Quest Progression

12/21/12 3:25:06 PM#57
That's not what I said.
  ThomasN7

Novice Member

Joined: 3/17/07
Posts: 6672

"Had to be me. Someone else might have gotten it wrong.” - Mordin Solus

12/21/12 3:28:55 PM#58
The only way you get a community to bond together is by playing together. Players don't need no pin the tail on the donkey games or jumping puzzles in order to be social. All they need is eachother but because mmos are being made to solo that is why we get these crazy social games that don't belong in mmos.
  Dibdabs

Elite Member

Joined: 5/29/08
Posts: 2513

12/21/12 6:14:32 PM#59
I am chatting with a community while I play MMOs, but it's via Skype, Mumble, Teamspeak and it's with my family and friends, some of whom may be playing the same game I am, sometimes.  Players in MMOs are of no more interest to me than the hundreds of people I see in shopping centres - I might nod casually and say 'hello' to a few, but that's it.  They're just part of the scenery.
  laokoko

Advanced Member

Joined: 9/14/09
Posts: 1937

12/21/12 10:45:48 PM#60

I don't know about all this car bus analogy, or dependent on other.  You can just call it grouping or forced grouping or open world pvp or forced pvp. 

But you know what?  Even in th emost unsocial online rpg I manage to find a community.  Maybe you guys should join a larger guild or make an effort to play with people.  I mean all those unsocial lobby games you like to call it, I manage to meet friend, and group with the same people all the time.

But I know what you mean, a few games I played such as warhammer online or atlantica online, everyone on the server knows everyone, even if they are in a different guild.

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