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3D Vision, your favourite MMO seen thrue the NVIDIA 3D VISION Glasses

I discontinued my old blog "random ideas for mmos" to blog about a couple of tests playing various MMOs with NVIDIAs new 3D-Vision Shutter Glasses.

Author: craynlon

Quest to Level/ Level to Quest...

Posted by craynlon Monday June 16 2008 at 7:55AM
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hmm i feel im getting old :(

for 4 years i played lineage 2 and my goal was to reach the max level (wich is kind of hard in an open pvp world that needs like 100h of grind on endgame levels). leveling was basicly waiting for a mob to spawn and killing it. i know how addictive it was to level up or get better gear. hell i grinded 5h/day for weeks just to have a 2minute rush to see what my new skills would do...

now im playing conan and i discovered quests.
while people in my grp/ guild still want to kill me when i stop to read a quest dialog i still enjoy every moment of it, especially the voice overed quests in the beginning. my gamestile basicly went from killing/questing to level up to leveling up in the background while i enjoyed the quest. in conan i even turned off my xp bar in the hub.

so i was thinking:

is there any hope that mmos will become more then leveling competitions for 80% of its customers ?

what would be if you knew a quest in your mmo was written by Stephen King or directed by Quentin Tarrntino ?
- would you have more respect for these quests ?
- would you see more in them then means to move your xp bar a bit further up ?

the many ads in the web for guids that "let you level up to max in under 10 days" makes me feel that most people want to rush to some kind of mysterious endgame only to find out later that endgame = end of story in most games

in my previous blogs i asked for weekly content and got laughed at but i wonder if mmos couldnt attracked more people if they had more food for the "kotor" or "mass effect" gamers instead of trying to dangle a virtual carrot in front of the xp junkies

fansede writes:

It is the naturwe of design. Player rewards are gear based. In order to get the best gear,  you have to be max level.  So fastest means to level is what happens.

I would love some designer to think outside the box and make the quest the real end goal.  This means perhaps you find a quest that is more than a task of killing x mobs or deliver this to x NPC..

Mon Jun 16 2008 8:50AM Report
sdozer writes:

Eet Ees Duh Way Uv Tings

Pleeeeasse, cut it out.

Fantasy stories utilize plot devices that turn reading them into a beautiful, excellent, wonderful, fun-filled Grind. The only reason you keep going through them is because it's fun to read.

You first have the Lord of the Plot. "The Plot is strong in this one" and "I sense a disturbance in the Plot." This is what decides on your adventures. Or, this is what Moves and Shakes the world, thus creating a Plot.

You then have the Collect the Coupons plot, which is your basic MMORPG kill ten rats, or collect 15 bear paws, but instead it's varied and you traverse miles of land to get everything. Ever read Deltora Quest? Try it sometime, it's a same-of-everything blast.

The next is the Plot Vouchers! These are get-out-of-jail-free cards. If you're suddenly surrounded by foes, you use it, and they go bye bye. This could be a buffer against people who suck, so the Plot becomes something that everyone can Grind through. It's like any item where they say "We don't know where it came from, or what it does, but it might help." It only works at the right time. That's the catch. Buy three sugar plum fairies, not two, not one, nor any other amount, and get a free unicorn on the way out.

The final device is the Universal Plot Generator. This is called respawns in an MMORPG, and it's booooooring.

Obviously in a character skill and gear-based game, get rewards. But add some flava getting there please. I wouldn't mind new items that have the same exact stats but that come from a different Plot.

Flame on.

Mon Jun 16 2008 1:48PM Report
Ephimero writes:

I found Imperial tomb 6 hours parties way funnier than running 10 minutes around the world to get a ring and another 10 minutes back to give the ring.

Mon Jun 16 2008 2:20PM Report
craynlon writes:

i found watching "from dusk till dawn" for 2h funnier then hitting the same mob for 6h in Imperial tomb.

Im not talking about the "kill 200 of those quests" or the "run across the world and deliver a bottle of beer" quests.

Im talking about complex adventures as you found them in pen & paper where the adventure itselve was more important then the loot or the xp you get from it. I feel that the step from pen & paper rpgs to grind-mmos have replaced the story drivenent ertainment for some xp-addiction system. i thnk this was due to limits of budget/ skill of early game developers but theres no reason we cant change back from that.

dungeons and dragons online for example took a good step back to beeing story driven entertainment rather then a bunch of pixels that you have to hit 1000times to get your next injection of xp.

my question would be if you could get a film producer like terantino or frank miller to produce a quest for your mmo would it still be a "run into the wood and kill 10 wolfs" or wouldnt you expect and enjoy a great plot/ story even if wouldnt reward you xp/gear wise.

i agree tough that the engine needs to be readdy to be able to tell stories instead of only providing a sandbox.

Tue Jun 17 2008 12:20AM Report
Fuzzix writes:

The problem with these thoughts is that it makes for a poor replay value, anything complex or tedious reading to figure out a quest and you would lose like 99% of the people.

Some MMOs previously tried long and complex storylines, but most people want the easy gratification of doing something and getting easily rewarded.  The original epics questlines in everquest were just that deep and complex and well thoughtout ways to get people involved with the lore and the world.  However the time to create these and implement them is an arduous task and most MMOs today reward with instant gratification.  These took hundreds of hours to complete most needing 16-20 items from all over the world.

WoW even tried this for classes and soon gave up because they saw the development time vs reward vs longevity of the item as not being worthwhile.  I am talking about the priest benediction staff, the paladin and lock epics mount quests, and the hunter bow/staff.

As was mentioned earlier the ultimate problem is that having instant gratification system where 2-4 items are going to drop if you down the boss.  Most of these issues stem from having no competition for drops and no death penalty in WoW at least.

In the next generation MMO, it would be nice to see some grand storyline that people who play the mmo follow from the very beginning, but needless to say anything that takes time and thought to complete wouldn't be popular and i show Microsoft's selling off of Marvel Online as proof of the next generation of mmo in that if you cant compete with wows easy mode for the masses it wont be done correctly...

Anyway just my thoughts from someone who started 13 years ago playing in the UO beta.

Tue Jun 17 2008 2:35AM Report
craynlon writes:

the interesting thing for me is the mentality of the modern mmo gamer

lets take age of conan for example:

  • there were comic book series producing more then 300issues of stories and artwork
  • there were movies bevore the game that had lots of fans
  • there were the original novels from 1930 and up with noumerous fans of great storytelling

yet people playing age of conan "the game" expect nothing more then their usual fix of items and xp. for most of them reading or listeninng to the quests is tedious work as you described.
for me this kind of mentality is like watching a tv series (like lost, bsg or whatever your flavour is) not following the episoes but beeing happy to have a "youve seen xx episodes" counter somewhere that would make you better then your neigbour that has a smaller counter.

maybe its time to wake them up from their addiction of the leveling/ gear collection habbits or maybe they are alreaddy lost like some gamble bevore a slot machine

Tue Jun 17 2008 5:43AM Report
kyoungb writes:

If your looking for a active story to follow with in your MMORPG. You should look at LOTR. There is a epic quest line that you start when creating your toon. That epic quest line does not have an end as long as they add new chapters to the quest line. Along with the many other quest line you can partake in. I bleave that LOTR has the best storys for there quest then in any game I have played.

Thu Dec 11 2008 1:25PM Report writes:
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