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Gaming Success and Failure in MMOs

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Tim S, 22 May 2009.

  1. naokaji

    naokaji whatever

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    It's a hard fight with Vanguard down there at the bottom but yep, it might just make the cut for worst launch.
     
  2. Hovis

    Hovis What's a Dremel?

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    Darkfall didn't so much launch as fall off the pier.
     
  3. thehippoz

    thehippoz What's a Dremel?

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    got this off youtube

     
  4. serial_

    serial_ What's a Dremel?

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    Most people I know who share your opinion have the same thing in common: you only played for a few hours. Also a better comparison would be Oblivion vs. WoW. Oblivion is an incredibly immersive game, and doesn't suffer from the quests of epic boredom that plague the first 60 levels of wow, but oblivion runs out after 50-80 hours. Wow has enough content to occupy you for a year or so. So it's the quantity vs. quality argument.

    On a technical level wow is amazing tho. The art team did an amazing job, you can go and do whatever you want wherever, and you rarely see a loading screen. Each class has a very different playstyle and none of them are very boring. On every design level wow comes through with flying colors. And to expect an MMO of its size to compete with the short and sweet experience of a game like Portal would put it into development longer than Duke Nukem Forever.
     
  5. Hovis

    Hovis What's a Dremel?

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    My general take on MMOs, having played nearly all of them, loved some, hated others and once violated one horribly with a stick is that they are mostly pretty poor in terms of what they offer within the gameplay itself. Why is this? Because they are a new and somewhat unevolved genre. The development cycle for an MMO takes ages, because they need so much content, and the net result of this is that they are several generations behind other games like the FPS or the RPG, which can be made faster. I mean if we look at Everquest as the daddy of the WoW style of game, it's only about three generations of game old. From EQ to WoW to WAR/AoC.

    The actual gameplay of something like LotRO, WAR or AoC is not in my view particularly far from that of Everquest. Age of Conan, WAR and Darkfall have tried in their ways to change the core dynamic of running around pressing numbers to fire off abilities, but they've all failed to do so to some degree.

    Age of Conan failed to do it because once the developers had built enough of the game to convince reviewers it was good it all went to hell, the combat became too imbalanced and the much vaunted combos and such like became irrelevant. WAR failed because they still had an eye on WoW when they made it, they wanted the grind, they wanted the PvE, they wanted everything that made WoW popular, but they also wanted balls to the wall PvP, and they ended up with neither. Darkfall failed to change the gameplay much because so much of it is just rotten. Darkfall done really well could have been like an MMO version of Mount and Blade, and would have been genius. But it isn't.

    I have high hopes for a lot of impending MMOs but pretty low hopes for the current batch. I'm playing WAR at the moment after a long break and it's got a real circling-the-drain vibe about it. Even with 300,000 players it's only going to go downhill because of gaping flaws that were never addressed. The elephant in the room being the lag, I have no idea how any modern game can justify the amount of lag that WAR has. The big battles of WAR are the crowning glory of the game, supposedly, and yet they have never been smooth, and when it comes to fort attacks they are seldom even playable. Beyond that there are a big pile of other problems, from the lack of incentives to actually fight other players rather than fighting NPCs or winning unopposed to class balance issues and population balance problems. Population imbalance is a game killer in an RvR focussed game because nobody likes to pay a monthly fee to get zerged on a daily basis. The smart thing to do is to have more than two factions, so that if one becomes dominant it has to face the wrath of both enemies, but they missed the boat with that.
     
  6. iwod

    iwod What's a Dremel?

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    Personally i would like to know the Tech and business aspect of MMO. How many servers do Blizzards need for 12 Million active subscribers? How hard is it to scale more users in servers, without setting more servers so friends are kept from playing with each other?

    Engine is also important as well. WoW was not graphics intensive, but as you enter Iron Forge, with 100s of active players ( polygons intensive ?) even the greatest graphics card have troubles....

    Bots- No other company work as hard as blizzard at banning players for using cheats / bots. Which for many casual players is very important.

    Although i really hope Blizzard will make an Word of Warcraft 2 that carries with better graphics.... and doubles the content.... Many players are find it old and left with nothing to do.
     
  7. serial_

    serial_ What's a Dremel?

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    if you have nothing to do in wow you've got problems.
     
  8. B3CK

    B3CK Minimodder

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    Um, A-men,
    I find my little guild likes to take shifts into what were into, pvp, collecting rare items, raiding, crazy stunts, gold grinding, or even just playing alt-toons to either see whats out there, or as penalty for dumb remarks.
     
  9. books

    books What's a Dremel?

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    You shouldn't knock something you've never even tried though.

    It's true that they are designed to be addictive and suck people in, but they are addictive because people love what they are doing. You are playing and enjoying yourself and you keep saying, "Just one more hour". Before you know it you've spent an entire night playing, and then the next night when you get home, you just want to jump back in again. So it's addictive for a reason. There are no drugs involved, and no mind control, it's addictive purely because people want to keep playing it because they are enjoying themselves. You have to give these games credit for achieving that.

    Also there are things that make these games special and people don't really talk about it because it's a given to anyone who has played it. So if you haven't experienced them properly for yourself, you are only hearing the best and the worst things and none of the stuff in between, and it's mostly that which makes these games special. For example, for me, these games have made it much harder to enjoy normal RPG's, purely because they don't last any way near long enough. In Oblivion or Gothic 3 or something, I am blasting through an adventure and getting gear and building up my character and before I know it, I've reached the final bad guy, killed him, and it's all over. They last a week, maybe two weeks, maybe even a month if I do all the side quests. So I find it hard to become involved at all in my character because it's such a disposable character.

    In the likes of EverQuest however, I played it for an entire year before I reached the end, and I was totally hooked all the way. By the time I reached the end, they started patching in free new content, and then a massive expansion pack came out adding about another year's worth of content. When you have an RPG character with that much of a future, I find I get far more involved in them. There are several things like this which makes these games really special, and most people don't describe all this stuff. You can only really fully appreciate it if you get stuck in to a game like this.

    There is a good reason for that subscription though. You pay for the game only once, the subscription is to pay for the privilege of playing on a server with over 2000 real people from all over the world. That costs money. It may be free to play Counterstrike or something, but you are only playing with a handful of people. This is different. Also included is better support and free new content added which you just don't get in other games.

    As for the cost itself, it's so incredibly cheap and good value, I can't imagine people not being able to afford it, unless they already have other hobbies or something. I think a WoW subscription is about £10 for an entire month... I spent about twice that on Friday night alone when I went to watch the new Terminator movie at the cinema, and that only lasted about 2 hours. If I go out drinking I spend 3 or 4 times that in one night. So £10 for an entire month is great value, especially if you play it a lot. I think with most people, they really get in to these games and end up playing them every night and it becomes their main hobby. So if you work out how much it costs per hour of entertainment, it's a couple of pennies.
     
    Last edited: 7 Jun 2009
  10. psychoti

    psychoti What's a Dremel?

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    Guild Wars is just perfect for me..and yes i know that its not a "true" MMO..
    Great balance in pve and pvp..hard story-line..very good game support..weekly or monthly updates..and after almost 2years this game that i play this game, it has more and more to give! its just up to you how far you want to go in this games and i dont have the "stress" play the game because i just pay for the month ;)
     
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