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Reader Comments (56)

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 1:19PM Anatidae said

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Missed release dates. Hear that NetDevil and Cryptic?

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 3:37PM Vandell said

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The title of this blog post is my answer.

The daily GRINDGRINDGRINDGRIND. I want to get money / exp as a byproduct of having fun.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 3:45PM Aetrix said

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I've been learning that my least favorite part of most MMORPGs is the RPG part. In the beginning, it was interesting investing immense amounts of time into leveling up and making my character stronger. I've done it so many times though that these days the idea of doing it again sounds as fun as oral surgery.

I care very little about Fallen Earth, Earthrise, Champions Online, Star Wars, etc., etc., etc., etc. because they ALL follow the worn out and weary notion of spending hundreds of hours playing the game before you actually play the game.

So these days I've been keeping my eyes out for an MMOs where the focus is NOT on leveling up but on actually playing the game. Darkfall falls on its face by replacing character levels with individual skill levels, making the grind even worse. MO sounds like it will be the same thing. EvE actually kind of pulls it off, by making skill progression something that just happens in the background as time passes, as well as allowing for useful roles even for new players in fleets. I've been most intrigued by games that throw out the RPG idea entirely, and add an MMO aspect to a relatively simple traditionally single-player genre. Cities XL is a great example of this.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 4:12PM Dblade said

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Endgame. It turns the game from fun with people in pickup groups or solo into the online equivalent of a job.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 5:36PM (Unverified) said

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Personally, my only gripe with MMOs is when my character ends up looking exactly like every other toon around me. Armor customization is paramount for me. I want to look and feel unique in the world set before me. But for some reason, most MMOs these days will throw in armor dyes and call it a day. Eventually, everyone is going to be carrying the same sword, wearing the same shoulder plate, and sporting the same headgear.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 6:37PM jpo said

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I hate having to get to "X" level before I can get or use a mount. I don't mind long travel or corpse runs or large worlds with no "insta"travel.

Just let me have a mount when I get the cash...regardless of level.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 6:57PM cray said

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Three things all MMOs should avoid

1. Leveling up - This mechanic is single biggest problem in MMOs, its part the reason there's a group vs solo debate. The solution is to make character advancement skill-based. Example would be GUILD WARS.

2. Class (i.e Mage, Scout, Warrior) - This mechanic loses any individuality of avatars cosmetically, as well lack of freedom to design your own skill tree. Again the solution would be to make characters advancement skill based. Also by getting rid of classes we reduce the amount of look-likes.

3. Lack of customization - The user interface as well as the avatar need to be vastly more flexible then the majority of MMOs are. A game's lifeblood depends on how much of it can be customized. It also is important not to ignore the disabled gamers no matter how much in minority they are. If any player can't get comfortable with the graphical user interface, they simple leave the game, regardless if they are disabled or not. The more customizable a game is the more at home they will feel. The greater the perception of virtual freedom a game has the more grand it feels.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 9:45PM (Unverified) said

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I just think that all instanced content should be scalable.

that way, regardless of group or level, you can enjoy the same content whichever way you prefer to play.

AoC is great for this.

Posted: Jul 14th 2009 9:49PM (Unverified) said

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I hate all the questing and levels opposed to raising skills. I miss how it was back in UO. I'd log on and decide what I wanted to work on that day, did I feel like crafting? Killing monsters for loot? PvP?...whatever. Most of the games these days I feel like it's all outlined for me and makes me feel rushed. I'd like to do this, but what if I outlevel the gazillion quests I have lined up?

I liked that sense of freedom and really lent to the immersive quality of it all. Those damn quests and levels just feel like pressure. I've got enough of that thank you!

Posted: Jul 16th 2009 7:58AM (Unverified) said

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Controls-
I am left-handed, and a few times I've installed a game only to find out that the controls are not customizeable. WASD movement only is the problem here.

Level-Specific/Class Specific Equipment Sets-
Asheron's Call was excellent at avoiding this. Levels were assigned due to the enchantments on the items, not as a general requirement for that 'type' of armor. Level 1 could wear plate armor, as long as they could carry it. They could an armor with a level V spell and level 30 requirement, but the enchantment would not function.

Random PKing, and nothing else-
I am all for the to attack other players. It can add to a game. But a game entirely built up around that one and only aspect has no real appeal to me.

Posted: Jul 16th 2009 7:20AM (Unverified) said

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I can do without overzealous interdependence. I don't particularly care for soloing but I'd rather do that than sit around doing nothing (or doing little) or having to deal with other people's issues (like the aforementioned dog biting the baby or gf/bf/wife/husband aggro or the like). Usually, I mitigate those problems by boxing (either my own 2nd account or the account of a friend or family member). I think overincentivizing grouping would just lead to more of that kind of activity which, while great for developers (more people paying for more accounts), isn't really the intended path.

I dislike the lack of customization that exists in MMOs today. I think it's very telling of the state of the genre when a game releases with an above average (but by no means 'the best possible') character creation engine and people make a big deal about it. I mean, it seems very basic to me. If you expect people to spend hundreds of hours in your game, playing a single character, you should give them the ability to shape that character in whatever way they see fit. In real life, real people change their looks almost daily (skip shaving for a day. Your look has changed) so having the ability to do that to their avatar should be a no-brainer.

I also think the lack of balance in gameplay is annoying. There's always one "best" sphere or aspect every game has. Whether it's PVE, PvP, raiding, crafting (Horizons....err, Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted), or what-have-you, there's never any parity between the areas. As great an idea as Diplomacy is in Vanguard, it doesn't come close to being as rewarding as combat, for example. That just leads to players feeling like they "have" to do one thing or another in order to progress. These games were supposed to be about having a multitude of options but it doesn't seem like that's the case (if it ever was).

Posted: Jul 16th 2009 7:21AM (Unverified) said

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The endless rounds of buffs and nerfs that are a result of balancing pvp and pve in the one game (yes WoW I'm looking at you, but others are just as guilty).
Enough already, overhaul the outdated pvp systems, seperate them from the pve aspect of the games so that these two very different playstyles do not interfere with each other

Posted: Jul 16th 2009 2:06PM (Unverified) said

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Remember that in one very important sense, the trend is operating in reverse. Competitive games, online or otherwise, have long been single player only. Many players, especially myself, would argue that single player competition is the only kind that matters.

Now suddenly MMOs have become mainstream due to WoW, and players who have no imagination of the difficulty and adrenaline of real competition are being saddled into neat little arena teams. Randomness, latency, inevitably bad balance, and the lovely grey areas of metrics that aren't based solely in victory produce a horrible lukewarm social experience that competition lovers never imagined or desired. In front of our eyes, and entire lifestyle is crushed by forced socialization, as we run back to diminishing genres like fighters in attempt to regain a pure experience, one that actually challenges us.

Posted: Jul 17th 2009 10:51AM (Unverified) said

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For me, the most important part of any game is immersion and fun. I know it sounds obvious, but as it turns out it's not for most people. I like deep character development systems, I like exploration, I like small, friendly groups with people who can actually communicate and have a good time playing, even through repeated wiping. I like taking my sweet time doing things and soaking up the atmosphere. I like breaking off the grind in order to exchange views with another human being. I like games that allow you to succeed at your own pace, without excessive funneling. I like games where crafting is challenging and influential on the game setting, as it gives you an alternative to guild drama and cybersports clones, such as the WoW Arena. I like PvP when it is meaningful, joining people together in order to overcome a strategic challenge. I don't like it when it focuses on small scale points grinding. Finally, I like games that focus more on story and atmosphere, rather than on collecting gear and doing calculations on spreadsheets. In short, I like having a good time playing my game of choice.

You see, it's good to have a clear picture of what you actually enjoy, before you start bashing on the things you don't like.

Posted: Jul 19th 2009 6:11AM (Unverified) said

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I mostly disslike how raiding is instanced everywhere.
Aside from that, I never really was a fan of crafting either, as I don't think any game has made that fun for me ever. It just ruins the small amount of bagspace I ever had...

After AoC's Tortage zone, I have started to disslike all the silent NPC's around me as well. With other players you can at least talk on ventrilo =)

Posted: Jul 21st 2009 9:51AM (Unverified) said

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The worst aspect of an MMO?

Reputaion Grinding (read: Busy Work).

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