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Reader Comments (10)

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 9:38AM (Unverified) said

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I would rather have an open world. If the graphics have to be scaled back a bit to make this happen so be it. Because at the end of the day gameplay wins or pretty graphics.

Instancing of dungeons is a great thing. You don't have competition from all the idiots who are often in these games.

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 10:02AM Tanek said

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The benefit to instancing nearly everything (like GW) is that the world can be a bit more dynamic. Things can change based on what quests you have in progress or completed.

Now, if someone comes up with a way to do the same in an open world MMO...well, that would be something to see. LotRO took a couple baby steps in this direction, but only in the "fluff" like NPC comments.

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 11:16AM (Unverified) said

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Heavy instancing removes the "MM" from the MMORPG, especially in the general world. Guild Wars felt more like Diablo because of this.

LOTRO uses a fair amount of instancing, but only in the newbie experience and in some quests and dungeons. The public areas still have that free-for-all feeling, which I like very much.

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 11:27AM Everrest said

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Personally, I (ideally) enjoy the sandbox style of MMO more so than others and thus prefer limited or NO instancing. Some games use it well (WoW i think is one), but generally I think an open world provides the most dynamic and engaging experience.

Clearly there are issues to be sorted involving lag issues and all other tech considerations with having hundreds of people in one area, but that doesn't change the concepts superiority imo.

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 1:32PM (Unverified) said

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I hate Instancing. The Instancing in Conan was one of the reasons I cancelled. It just ALWAYS felt like I was in a room. Sometimes a VERY big room but I never felt like I was in a world.

To make matters worse when you wanted to rendezvous with a friend you had to go through hoops to arrange it. God forbid you hope to have a Guild event in an area effected by instancing.

I don't mind the "Epic" questlines being instanced in LOTRO but for the rest of the world I'll take my chances and, perhaps, make some friends when chasing the same quest mobs.

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 1:42PM (Unverified) said

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Instancing is necessary in a lot of cases, but many games have taken it a bit too far. As others have said, when everything is instanced a game can lose the "massive" feel that attracts us to the genre in the first place.

The rest of my thoughts on this topic can be found here: http://www.thewanderingrogue.com/?p=21

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 2:00PM (Unverified) said

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On the other hand, City of Heroes also has some of the best tricks for making non-instanced content feel both massive and communal. When fighting off Giant Monsters or a Rikti invasion, NPCs stats are scaled on a blow-by-blow basis to each player's level, so a level 10 can still make significant contributions to a fight alongside level 50s. Because of this, people will readily throw invites to anyone of any level who joins the fight, and work with them for the duration of the encounter.

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 2:52PM arnavdesai said

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I personally started playing with an instanced games (GW) and IMO I have no problems with stuff being instanced because it made me feel that much more important and heroic in the larger world.
Quests which involved killing x creatures (which I hate a lot) become a lot more manageable with instanced zones.
Graphics are also important to me and it's one of the reasons I dont like WoW. I personally have no preferences of one over the other with each having advantages over the other.
That's why I am curious to see how GW2 is going to do their combination of instanced and open worlds. I love dynamic stuff makes for so much of a fun and alive world. Things feel like they are progressing ahead.

Posted: Jul 26th 2008 9:06PM (Unverified) said

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I have been against instancing since WoW introduced them and saturated their world with them. Coming from EQ as my first MMORPG I enjoyed that world feel the most. Every part of the world was connected, you could not hide anywhere. I feel that this topic hits PVP players the most because when rivalries and wars occur it's nice to know that your enemy is accessible somewhere in the world if they are online. I was hoping WAR would have no instances but I hear they do have some in scenarios etc. Darkfall I feel will be the next big mmorpg that has zero instancing, if/when it finally comes out.

Posted: Jul 28th 2008 6:13PM cray said

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Only problem instancing has is the lack of multiplayer interaction. In Guildwars you needed to meet in towns where it was not instanced and team up then go into a instanced area.

There are two things that developers can help instancing:

1) Find a way to allow players to join players already in a instanced area.

2) Carry the effects of instanced area outside the area. Another words lets say you are running away from huge mobs and you escape the instanced area to another. Once you get (load) to new area, suddenly you see the mob (or part of it) is still chasing you. So there would really be no retreat unless you run into your allies.

Solve those to major issues and there won't be a debate about whether instance is good or bad thing for MMOs.

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