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Reader Comments (16)

Posted: Oct 14th 2009 6:40PM esarphie said

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There's a disconnect between what many players believe that they want in a game, and what truly holds their interest for an extended period of time.

I am of the opinion that if you strictly judge by the voiced desires of players, you'll eventually end up with a 40 hour, start-to-finish, single-player-style game that just happens to also be an MMO. However, if you look at the numbers, you'll find the games that make people invest serious time and effort in advancing are the ones that people play for years on end.

WoW bridged the two by having a rather rapid advancement phase, followed by a raiding-based endgame that keeps people pushing for tiny advances for months at a time.

Posted: Oct 14th 2009 6:54PM (Unverified) said

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When they offer free trials I'll try it again. It ran horribly on my computer during beta. I'd like to see how the combat is, and how the land control is going to be. The setting is probably one of my favorite settings for any type of fiction(Mad Max style).

Posted: Oct 14th 2009 7:05PM (Unverified) said

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Well, more on topic...

I think there are more than a few games in the past 2 years that really push the "Single player style that happens to be online" type of MMO, and I have come away dissatisfied from all of them. I think LOTRO comes about as close as I want a game to come to that style. It has the linear progression storylines, but also plenty of places to stop and smell the roses. I feel like I could LIVE inside LOTRO, they have enough stuff in game to facilitate that.

Games like Champions and Conan have you teleporting all around zones, zones being a technology that should've been dead in 2005, and give you little reason to explore non-questing areas. I am sure each game has its own nice set of role playing guilds, but its not like the games help facilitate that kind of play, and nowhere near to the extent LOTRO had pre-Moria.

Its natural though, to go to extremes when figuring out what kind of game players want. You're going to have the overly too sandbox games with no direction whatsoever, which will end with players frustrated at how disconnected from the gaming world they seem to be. Then you are also going to have the games that over do the Single player with buddies experience to the point you are going to get done and truly have nothing to do but play the same scripted areas over and over again. The story will might be life changing, full of angst, and each NPC loss could be extremely hard for an involved player to handle... the first time you do it. The 80th time will not be so emotional.
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Posted: Oct 14th 2009 7:06PM (Unverified) said

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I've been playing Fallen Earth for a few days now and so far I really enjoy it. I spend most of the time being bewildered and confused, and having a great time at it! It's a nice change from WoW where the only confusing thing was the constant modification of talents and stats.

Posted: Oct 14th 2009 8:54PM (Unverified) said

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I don't enjoy super slow progress and that is why I have no interest whatsoever on this title.

Posted: Oct 14th 2009 9:11PM GRT said

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"Do we move too fast through an MMO? Or even more to the point -- in our opinion -- is this genre becoming too concerned with imitating a singleplayer game? Those two questions are most definitely connected"

How are they connected? Could you elaborate on that? I don't see the connection at all. In fact, Fallen Earth is very solo friendly.

Posted: Oct 14th 2009 9:49PM Xocolatl said

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I think WoW got it about right.
I prefer a game to feel "deliberate". Every action you do should have a point. Big name games like WoW funnel people into quests that feels like it's there to contribute to your faction (mostly), which feels good.

My problem is more with the combat. As games move more into arcadey button masher style, each action has less meaning. I would prefer a game where you have to really think about that next attack. If you find one like that, shoot me a mail!

Posted: Oct 14th 2009 9:58PM (Unverified) said

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I played Fallen Earth beta, and live for a bit... never had any fun with it. The game play wasn't anything compelling, and interacting with other people usually consisted of racing to a resource node. No pushes towards cooperation, not even in the "support" cities.

And I loved EQ and Eve... so I am not just inherently adverse to slow progression or sandbox games.

Posted: Oct 15th 2009 12:49AM (Unverified) said

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I dont like sandbox games. Yeah, I want that there will be some options but I want that the game will force me to choose one of them.
FE is VERY solo friendly.

Posted: Oct 15th 2009 3:19AM (Unverified) said

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Fallen Earth is kick ass.

Very World of Warcraft unfreindly.

I like it, and have liked it since closed Beta.

Drucifer

Posted: Oct 15th 2009 5:12AM archipelagos said

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I'm really happy that FE seems to be getting appreciated for what it is and not ripped apart for what it isn't. Long may it continue.

Posted: Oct 15th 2009 9:46AM Enkiel said

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i like the whole idea behind Fallen Earth, everything is open, you can go wherever you want.

Its fun to run around and discover... maybe just because i havent went thru the starting zone 10x times, like wow or war.

I decided to try to appreciate Fallen Earth, to read through each quest, to really follow the history, instead of just rushing to the max lvl like i did when Warhammer came out. So far, i'm appreciating my time, and i am just lvl16 despite maybe 50-60 hours played.

Posted: Oct 15th 2009 10:26AM (Unverified) said

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MMOs should slow down by obscuring the path or eliminating the idea of a "best path"

- Get rid of waypoints or marking the map with objectives
- Get rid of the Next Quest Hub quests
- Offer multiple areas/zones to advance in for any given level
- Hide the numbers (for exp per mob, each level)
- Offer incentives for taking your time (e.g. areas with a maximum level to encourage exploration over rapid leveling)

Posted: Oct 15th 2009 11:21AM (Unverified) said

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I'd prefer there not to be quests at all. I mean, make the world actually persistent, a land you'd play in that is filled with constant struggle and turmoil and every day different villages or cities would be in conflict that'd you'd have to travel to and defend against npcs. Think super massive king of the hill.

I'm not a big fan of pvp (combat, not "economy pvp"...) in mmos... It always feels canned, nobody works together ever unless it's the diehards that play so much with a group of people that they gell.

Posted: Oct 15th 2009 4:50PM Bhagpuss said

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The problem is that when MMOs played slow, all the pressure from players was to make them faster. Now they are fast, players with long memories remember it being better when it was slow.

All the suggestions badalchemist makes above can be done voluntarily in most MMOs with a few mouseclicks in the Options menu and a bit of self-discipline. I habitually play using all those slowdowns. The "problem", if it is such, is that the majority of players around me seem to be moving in accelerated time. I doubt, however, that many would be grateful for having the brakes applied by the game company.

One solution might be to have whole servers with the brakes on, so that those of us who like to meander and stroll through content in blithe ignorance of the game mechanics can mix with like-minded souls. Meanwhile everyone else can zip on through to the so-called endgame on the core-rules servers.

Posted: Oct 18th 2009 10:05PM (Unverified) said

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I don't think MMOs should strive to emulate single-playuer games, but nor do I think they should force group play to participate. If I log and spend an hour sitting and waiting to find a group to do something, I will consider that time wasted if there's nothing else for me to do. If it happens often enough, I will unsubscribe. I prefer the games that leave lots of options so if one action isn't available to you for whatever reason, there is always something else to do.

In this way, a game could be very solo-friendly, but it wouldn't emulate a solo game as there are many more options than a single-player game and many options for group play as well.

Group play is a major part of these games, but I don't find it worth it if I'm spending most of my time waiting unsuccessfully to find a group.

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