In the latest Mondays in MMORPGs on the Saga of Lucimia site, the team takes a look at the iterative process in games. While iteration is needed for the health and longevity of any MMO, players balk at needed and necessary changes and often don't see behind the curtain about why things move along as they do. The post details player perceptions that change means "the design of a game = not the same game that was discussed or [was] 'advertised' by the company".
The article provides a pretty cool look at the evolution of an asset the team was creating, a Dwearhe amphitheater. It began one way and ultimately ended up in a different form when complete. Further examples discuss changes in Star Citizen and Shroud of the Avatar.
And this is where we get to the part of the conversation where we talk about something other than art and assets, and talk instead about lore, mechanics, programming, game design, and the vast difference between ideas laid out on paper versus what can realistically be put into a game, or advances in technology or funding that allow a company to increase the scope of their project.
There’s a major disconnect with some players when it comes to the misconceptions regarding iterations over the course of the game’s development. We see a lot of anger around the ‘net in regards to how things change over time with almost every MMORPG’s development, with many claiming the developers lied about how something was going to work, or how something was perceived as being a certain way, and then when it doesn’t work out quite the way players perceived, they claim that the developers deceived them, and that the launched product isn’t anything like what was initially discussed during the development process.
Read the very detailed post on the Saga of Lucimia site.