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Vendayn's MMO Blog

Here is my blog for MMORPGs.

Author: Vendayn

When did MMOs and RPGs become so easy?

Posted by Vendayn Saturday April 18 2009 at 4:11PM
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I mean, games aren't like games of the old at all (which require thinking and are challenging)...MMOs used to be a lot of fun (though I think I always liked single player games better, but still)...and now a lot of them are mindlessly easy. Which I'm sure people like, hence why people buy them and they are popular.


But even RPGs are a lot easier than they once were...sure, they are newer and have nice graphics...but Baldur's Gate...anyone remember that game? Started up yesterday and maybe its me, but its challenging and does require thinking. Has a good story too, at least I like it. Even after all these years...I was younger and could never finish it :P But now I started up again.


As for RTS games, can't comment much on them...I mean there is age of empires II which was my favorite in the AOE series (didnt get a chance to play AOE 1 though. AOE2 doesn't work on my pc anymore, though), but I haven't really played many RTS/strategy games lately, didn't really play many before either. There is civilization and the total war series, and europa univerisalas (mispelled)...which from what I hear Europa is really challenging and civilization is a good series. I like the Total War series too, but empire total war (I don't have a pirated copy, I have a legit one) is buggy as heck...and I HATE using steam.

So back to RPGs...


when did they start getting easy? And it isn't because I'm older and better at games...hence why I still find Baldur's gate challenging (or I just suck at it lol...either way...)...I mean even Fallout 3, which I do like is very easy...I'm getting fallout 2 tomorrow (hopefully), though its outdated, it sounds better than a lot of newer rpgs. But since I haven't had personal experience, I can't comment a lot on Fallout 2.


Is it all about graphics these days? All icing, no to speak. I find developers going on about their awesome latest graphics...but what about the gameplay? Is it just a mindlessly easy game that requires no thought?


I find baldur's gate a lot of fun, more fun than a lot of RPGs and MMOs...which is kinda sad seeing how old it is.There is Ultima Online, but to me thats just a class based system with a different skin. No, hear me out on this one...World of Warcraft, a warrior as an example...I could level up 2 tradeskills and all my weapon skills if I wanted to. UO, I am limited to what skills (and stats) I can train, more so than a warrior in WoW. If I remember right, in UO I had to make sure not to train certain skills otherwise other skills wouldn't raise further ( a skill cap). I don't see that much different than a class based system that has skills as well, like in WoW. Maybe I'm just thinking of it wrong or seeing it the wrong way, if so...feel free to correct me. I guess that does require thinking on what to train and what not, instead of just I do see that has a good thing. Eve Online I would say is a skill based system, it takes time to train...but I'm not limited to what I can train, except the time it takes. Maybe I wouldn't be as good as someone who focused skills, but it doesn't have a "skill cap" persay...though to train all the skills would take a long time. My point is...the older MMOs are definitely a lot better than the newer MMOs. My first MMO was Asheron's Call...death was to be feared, not laughed at. Age of conan was the worst, just die to be respawned at nearest town...newer MMOs are a lot easier than older MMOs, generally. Again, maybe people just like it thinking required. AC was a skill based system (it had levels, but they didnt really matter too much)...could train any stat/skill to a high level, forgot if there was a stat/skill cap...might have been somewhere, but it was a high one if there was/is. I would say AC was a true skill based system. But again, Asheron's Call was challenging, it wasn't forced grouping, but there was plenty of social activities and you could choose to group or not (I found that though you could solo very well in AC, people STILL grouped with each other and socialized. ) But AC was challenging...the quests were very good, dungeons were awesome...and like I said, if you died...dropped items...hopefully you got them back or items you dropped you didn't really need. These days in MMOs, I don't even care if I die...but I know some people like that...but I myself, don't. I like to be challenged, not handheld throughout the game...if I want an easy game, I'll go back to Math Blaster and Finding Nemo type games.


I know a few classic RPGs that required puzzles to be solved, you could guess and get lucky, or maybe follow clues or what not to solve it and move on (like in a dungeon or some place). I find those fun and challenging.


So...when did these rpgs and MMOs start getting easy? What happened to the classics that had good story, challenging gameplay, required thinking and (for MMOs) death to be feared? Was it because big corporate companies took over? Greed? Or something else? Ah well...


well...thats end of my rant, I guess you could call it a rant...

Annwyn writes:

MMOs started getting easy the same day Grind was borned. Luckily, they are a few MMOs that are much harder and requires a lot more than just "stay at fix spot and spam skill".

For exemple
-DarkFall (yeah trolls and fanboys who didn't get to play, fighting monsters is not an easy tast unless you mob them with your party or clan),
-The Chronicles Of Spellborn is a bit challenging too
-Mabinogi is quite hard (requires a lot of timing and the ability to "predict" monsters action , even though you get used to it after 2 or 3 monsters, you may still die in 2 hits if your timing was off by .1 sec :P),
-Dofus does prove to be slightly challenging to some extent especially in dungeons as bosses requires more than just attacking but also a lot of thinking (turn-based strategy game).

Sadly, these are probably the only MMOs that I find at least slightly challenging. As for sngle player RPGs.....TES Oblivion at the hardest mode is challenging....same for Mount&Blade, a couple of games on SNES are also quite challenging, very few Gamecube or newer console are challenging though :s .....I am unable to explain why those newer RPGs are this easy though....I mean....look at all those pseudo-RPG....even Fable 2 was extremely easy, same for FallOut 3. Maybe because some RPG-carebears complained abotu how hard this game his or designers simply wanted to make these games more "accessible"....who knows.

But if you want something really challenging. the serie Myst (PC) is quite hard as you must constantly use your head. (It's rather old though, Myst 5 came out last year I believe)

Sat Apr 18 2009 4:48PM Report
ghstwolf writes:

Lots to cover here.

First how much more do games cost today?  Really the price point hasn't changed much in around 20 years.  In real dollars a game is worth considerably less (ok I'm ignoring medium changes, which did cut unit costs).

At the same time, development costs are up.  We can blame graphics for this.  All those textures and beautiful landscapes, take considerably longer to make.  Plus gamers, are loath to settle for "2-3 yr old" graphics, making it almost impossible to avoid this arms race.  We need a victim to keep costs down.  Sound is pretty cheap already so few gains to be made there.  The only other option is gameplay.

With a subscription model, you don't cut game length.  If anything you extend it to the limits of tedium.  Hard is bad, as many people will get frustrated and cancel.  But a simple system of "busy work" quests will keep a large number of people with the benefit of being cheaper to produce.

Sat Apr 18 2009 9:39PM Report
dcostello writes:

textbook example of what "rambling" is, good job buddy

Sun Apr 19 2009 11:54AM Report
sigamon writes:


Mon Apr 20 2009 7:18AM Report
SupaMutant writes:

How about... less QQ more Pew Pew...

Mon Apr 20 2009 9:31AM Report writes:
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