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Rollo talks games. (And Pie)

Just another gamer pretending to know what he's talking about.

Author: Rollotamasi

The problem isn't AoC, It's todays design philosophy.

Posted by Rollotamasi Saturday June 7 2008 at 5:35PM
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I don’t consider myself a “throwback” type of gamer.  What I mean is that when I look at a game today I don’t judge it on games from the past.  “This game sucks because it doesn’t do things like XYZ game did”  That being said I think MMORPG’s have moved in a direction that is harmful to themselves.  I think there is a reason why games like Anarchy online, Everquest, FFXI and such have a fairly stable fan base and most newer games don’t. 


When WoW first came out I was playing FFXI.  Before FFXI I had been playing AO for about three years.  When I left AO for FFXI it was a HARD decision.  I actually put a lot of thought into it.  When I left FFXI for WoW I did the same.  I had a genuine attachment to my trader in AO and my samurai in FFXI.  I wasn’t attached to them simply because they were “cool” or fun to play.  I was attached to them because I had put a @#*$ load of time and effort into them.  They were like that 68 mustang in the garage that you spent years restoring.  Once you were finished you didn’t WANT to sell it.  Even if some new flashy model came out you still wanted the one you put all the time in effort into.    


A few years ago a MMO character was something to be proud of (In game). Being high lvl would get you a certain lvl of e-props because it took actual effort to get there.  Now days being high/max lvl means nothing because it takes a massive 2 weeks to get there.  There is no feeling of accomplishment where there is no effort.  Players don’t think twice about leaving a game because there is no attachment to their toon because it took no effort to get that toon to where it is.


Don’t get me wrong.  There is a reason that MMO’s have moved in this direction and the reason for the most part is legitimate.  As the gaming demographic has gotten older they have less time because of things like family and jobs and such.  It’s natural for the industry to move to a more accessible model. Hence the death of the 20 minute corpse run and the massive experience penalty for death.  But it is my opinion that the pendulum has swung TO far.


In games coming out in today’s market it is possible to reach max level in a few weeks.  There is no longer any accomplishment in capping out.  There is no accomplishment in getting a nice piece of gear because you lvl so fast it will be replaced in a day or two.  All of this leads to players becoming bored quickly and makes developers rush out more and more raid contend to try to keep their subscription numbers up. 


It’s not just that the gaming demographic has grown up.  That’s only about half the reason why design philosophy has changed.  The other problem is that the younger gamers are more impatient.  They have more of a instant gratification philosophy.  They tend not to see the journey and simply look at the finish line.  I spend a good amount of time reading the forums here on and it never fails.  I see TONS of threads “How long to max lvl??!!?”. 


I read a AoC review thread a few days ago on these forums and the title was something like “Lvl 70 somethingoranother, My opinions on the game”.  And I just thought to myself ‘Dude… lvl 70….are you kidding…”.  It’s like walking into a high end steak house and ordering a 10oz kobe beef  sirloin medium rare and the second they put it on the table you just begin stuffing your face and finish it in 1 minute flat without even chewing.   Sure, Your not hungry any more but you could have just walked into burger kink and ordered a whooper and accomplished the same thing.


I guess at this point I am now speaking directly to game developers and the younger generation of PC gamers.  To the devs – The reason you are having to scramble to put out and expansion to your games ever 2 months is because they are too bloody EASY.  If you stop catering to the 14 year old twitch xbox owner that has a heart attack if they don’t kill something every 30 seconds then your games will have a LOT more longevity.  This will bring costs down for you as the dev because you don’t have to develop new content every week and it will give you happier customers because you have more time and funds to devote to things such as fixing bugs.


To the 14 year old twitch xbox owner that has a heart attack if they don’t kill something every 30 seconds- CALM THE (#*$ down.  Lay off the red bull and just try relaxing and enjoying a game for once. 

zymurgeist writes:

I really don't think there's anything "easy" about an four to eight hour raid instance.  The problem is these days there's no content worth playing until end game.  Usually there's no content at end game either. It's completely linear like the old side scroll adventure games. Run through it twice, shelve it and buy a new one.  It's a fully scripted experience with little variation.

Sat Jun 07 2008 6:02PM Report
musicmann writes:

I agree with everything you so gracefully wrote out. I also believe that one of the biggest factors in mmo's that take away the attachment of a players toon, is to many toon slots available.

This goes hand in hand with a mmo that has a class/lvl based system rather than a open skilled one, where a player can drop and pickup skills at their choosing.

It's a litle harder for me to not look back at my days in SWG pre-cu. That whole system, even with it's bugs and proffessions that weren't finished was way ahead of it's time.

The hardest part for me, was cancelling my account, knowing i spent 2 yrs. molding my online toon, making him be my version of how i would have seen myself in the SW galaxy.

Not one game since then have i ever acheived that type of attachment for a toon. I have played all the major mmo's, and with everyone i had 4 or 5 lvl whatever's and 1 high lvl.

I became that hampster on the wheel, chasing a lvl bar. Only to find that once i reasched max lvl, there was nothing to do but move on to the next mmo. I never and i mean never felt that way in SWG, and if they wouldn't have changed it i would still be there.

When or if some dev company ever realizes that the SWG system is the future of how mmo's should be built, then the whole genre of MMORPG's will get better.

Sat Jun 07 2008 6:14PM Report
zanbanz writes:

Agreed here i played runescape as shameful as is, it was a good game it had qualities, quests arnt collect this for him and he'll give  u a scroll of bull untill u reach the cap, it was trading on forum and ingame it was a community until they turned it into a new version mmorpg, pvp goodbye there was a cling for running around getting  the rush of kill or be killed but its been killed in new mmorpgs and mmo's. 16 years, i have a life : ) i have a good gaming life and the twatish game designers can go to hell cos they havnt got a kick out of creating the same game ina different background today

Sat Jun 07 2008 6:18PM Report
AlienShirt writes:

Great post and right on the money.

Sat Jun 07 2008 6:29PM Report
lupisenparis writes:

I dont mind a game that give a challenge when progressing (the crowning achievement to all rpg) but it is when your character progressively becomes more of a crutch and not an achievement does the game then loses my admiration.

Sat Jun 07 2008 6:33PM Report
talismen351 writes:

I agree with everything here. I also agree that another problem is that Devs are concentrating on the endgame themselves. Rather than making the entire game enjoyable...they want the end to be the most fun. So in return ppl rush to lvl 80 or whatever. Should be either fast to max lvl like GW n then enjoy the game. Or a bit slow like UO or EQ but with lots to do till you reached max.

Sat Jun 07 2008 8:27PM Report
Hordequester8 writes:


I always thought, myself, that the point of a Role-Playing Game was
 the journey to the end not the end in itself. Like a good book, you're not just reading to see what happens (you could skip to the end if you wanted to) but you're reading to see the journey.

Whats the point of all the mush in the middle if the only real accomplishments are at "max level". You might as well insta-level to max as soon as you make the guy.

I'm waiting for a company to go back to the original idea of RPGs and stop bastardizing them. They will soon realize that they are making something that dies out too quickly to be taken seriously.

I also believe that current MMORPG design will be the end of our world. But, that's another story for another time.

Sat Jun 07 2008 8:40PM Report
Erhun writes:

I have to agree with this. I've played FFXI and the reason I loved that game was because it took forever to level. It took FOREVER to do anything worthwhile and it meant something to have accomplished this. When I saw a level 75 I was like wow that guy must be A. Really good. B. Been playing forever. I respected the high level players because they had accomplished something I spent a huge amount of time investing into.


Ever since the WoW release and the pop of FFXI dropping to a number that made that time frame so large I couldn't possibly enjoy it anymore, I've been looking to play other MMO's. In fact I just came on here to see if I could find one I would enjoy and read this thread. Now that I think about what you just said, you're right. That is the reason I haven't enjoyed any of these new games. AoC is cool. I like it. You level fast and it kind of sucks, main reason I hate it is because none of the classes appeal to me. I hate them all.

There needs to be another game out there like the old one's. Something that is worth spending time on.

Sat Jun 07 2008 9:41PM Report
Nineven writes:

The problem is the end-game. MMORPG's should be treated as virtual worlds with no end in sight. They are the gateway to VR, unfortunately, only a select few developers believe in this theory.

Each MMORPG should be working towards abolishing the end-game. This gives the player more things to accomplish, more things to occupy their time instead of racing to get max level. When I look at the state of the genre now, I am simply disgusted at the lack of creativity and trendy fanbois that make up these companies.

Sat Jun 07 2008 10:12PM Report
Unive writes:

Its really simple, roll back the swg servers to about the 6th month of release and boom we've got a great mmo. Not level based, no max level. 32 Classes, Best crafting system ive seen, Real social enviornment with entertainer classes and cantinas that were always full and talking, RVR, I mean its THAT simple lol.

Sat Nov 22 2008 4:35AM Report writes:
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