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My MMO Game Design Blog

Mission : To create a new mmo system and world lore for a new mmorpg. Each of my posts will be continually updated with more details / implemented suggestions from comments posted as well.. I am heading in the direction of an evolution type game.

Author: Artermis

PVE a letdown?

Posted by Artermis Tuesday July 10 2007 at 7:56AM
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So you have just delved into the newest MMO released and your looking for some raiding. As usual, you find out theres 20 dungeons, can only enter them if you have either the correct level, and/or finished an attunement quest line. Whats more theres 5 bosses in there, and drop your equipment upgrades.


Sounds ok, until you start raiding in those conditions. What you find is:


Six months later, you have killed those 5 bosses every single week and has dropped 3 out of your 8 item upgrades. If your not bored yet, you have a mind of steel. I agree, the first 3 or 4 times you have conquered that boss it was great. But it didnt drop the loot you wanted so have to repeat the instance until it does or you get something elsewhere thats better. The fun i once had in that instance disappeared about 8 weeks into the dungeon. Same trash mobs, same bosses....boring eventually.


In world of warcraft my hunter has been going to karazhan for the last 4 months, every week without fail, and still doesnt have the bow drop! Never seen it! How annoying is that. The alternative is to keep underperforming against other classes, or go pvp and get a near identical bow from there. But im there to raid not pvp all day.....and night.


So, shouldnt raiding be a little more interesting than that? There is no dynamic, its the same old same old rubbish. Im pretty sure alot of raiders feel this way.


So how can we make dungeons (or instances) more exciting? Im at work atm so will post my ideas shortly.

raynerape writes:

I am really interested to see how your system is going to work. Usually, this problem is solved by giving players some tokens they can exchange for the exact loot item they want - extremely immersion-breaking and killing the whole excitement factor when you eventually get the item you are looking for, but it makes it fair game for everyone.

Wed Jul 11 2007 6:19AM Report
Artermis writes:

I agree, it is implemented a little bit now in wow, but only on set items. I can understand they want players to continue raiding as long as possible to keep the interest up. But in the past i raided Molten Core for well over a year.....thats overkill.


Thu Jul 12 2007 5:18AM Report
WSIMike writes:

In my point of view, what you could call a very "pro-segregation" mindset, the problem with raiding in WoW and similarly "casual friendly" games is that it's a traditionally hardcore playstyle that was tagged on to a game catering to a very non-hardcore audience. You can't do both. You can't please both in the same type of game. Both are going to be left feeling screwed in the end.

Hardcore and Casual are like oil and water. You need to choose one or the other. Try to cater to both and you end up with both sides feeling disenfranchised.

You never hear about players of FFXI complaining about a lack of end-game, or of running out of things to do. First, because it takes a lot of time and effort to get there and second because the challenges themselves are very trying. In that regard, FFXI could be called a "hardcore" game, if one had to label it. Similarly, though in a different way, Lineage II is a very hardcore game. Especially compared to the more "casual friendly" WoW, or LoTRO.

I think part of Vanguard's problems (besides the technical/performance issues and all that) is that it suffered a similar identity crisis... their definition of who the game was catering to was not consistent and in the end, players on both sides of the fence seemed to feel they were misled... at least in what I've seen.

So... my theory is developers have to stop playing the 'something to everyone' card. They need to acknowledge that there are at least two very distinct sub-sets in the MMO playerbase; Hardcore and Casual. They need to identify which one they want to cater to, and then stick to it consistently.

If you say you're aiming for the more casual crowd, do so and be very clear about it.

If you want to attract a very hardcore crowd, do so, be very clear about it, and stick to it.


Tue Aug 14 2007 10:21AM Report
WSIMike writes:

... to bring what I was getting at on topic, just in case it wasn't... I think end-game raiding, as it was in WoW 'til somewhat recently, is fine - if that's the crowd you're going for. But then make the game consistently on that level. Don't make the game casual-friendly and highly soloable all the way to the end.. .and then suddenly force people into these time-consuming, 40-man situations that require people to actually schedule and set aside time from their personal lives.

I think the way Blizzard have it now - having removed attunements and allowing for smaller sized raids, is much more in line with a "causal-friendly" game style, and is how they should have done it from the start.


Tue Aug 14 2007 10:23AM Report writes:
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