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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 8:14AM Tom in VA said

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Simple puzzles are OK and can even be fun, but puzzles that send me to the web/wikis in search of a solution are kind of annoying.

The puzzles I encountered in DDO, as far as I could tell, were just about "right."

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 8:26AM Surelle said

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The great puzzles were one of the few things I really liked about Dungeons and Dragons Online! It reminded me of the original Neverwinter Nights, D & D rules and all.

I wish the true MMORPGs would incorporate them, but I suspect it would slow down teams and dungeon raid groups too much. The kids just aren't used to that kind of gameplay anymore. As it is, in practically every MMO it's murder to find a true tank and a priest-- most players just can't get past that simple "DPS til ya drop" mentality never mind have to solve mutiple-step puzzles besides.

Kids these days...hehe. But then, I remember the original Sierra PC-compatible adventure games (heck, I had Pong and Atari when they first came out as a kid) and I was an adventure gamer through the '90s. Pixel hunting and sliding tiles were par for the course.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 10:09AM (Unverified) said

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URU pictured above is sorely missed. There was an URU Online as well that was a featured product on gametap, a MYST MMO, it was a worthwhile endeavor with a rabid, almost fanatical fanbase. Unfortunately, it proved unprofitable for gametap (at least that's what they told the users). So the MMO servers at CYAN went offline though the original single player incarnation of URU still exists on gametap... not as much fun as exploring and puzzling with friends online though.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 8:49AM (Unverified) said

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I would *love* to see an MMO with more puzzly action. Awesomely enough, I just re-downloaded DDO and am excited to see what it has to offer in terms of its puzzles and gameplay features beyond the WoW-esque format.

I am growing really tired of it, to be quite honest, and think the next logical step in the MMO genre is with things such as Lego Universe, etc.

The MMO genre needs not be fantasy dungeon grinding, but can be so many other things: just look at EVE Online, Second Life and Maplestory. Yes, Maplestory. As far as I know it is one of the most original games out there, if only because of its 'party quests', where puzzles and platforming are not only the 'dungeon' but necessary to get to the boss. Of course, you have to memorize the strats and repeat it one thousand nth times...but still, in terms of 'Wow, puzzles can be in MMOs!', Maplestory really does a good job (well, at least in terms of doing it :P).

But if there were a platformer game, akin to that of Super Mario, but massively multiplayer, somehow, I think such a game would get -tons- of subscriptions. I am not saying Super Mario Online (xD), but I am saying a game where you have to go get that little token from that one zone and bring it over to that tree to summon that lady to give you the sword to stab into the wall to open the crevice to walk through the path, but only on select tiles or you fall through, to finally get to a really cool boss monster that when defeated gives you the phat loots, story progression and, better yet, you did it all with your online buddies. -That- would a step towards the next level of the MMORPG gaming industry, and I cannot wait for the 'next gen' of games that deliver anything close to this.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 8:53AM UnSub said

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In a world where it can take 15 minutes to organise a group to stand in the right place, I'd hate to think of a game that required all of them to also puzzle solve and that time it would take.

Puzzles are great for single player games, but multiplayer they either leave players out or are there to make you hate humanity.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 9:10AM Pewpdaddy said

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I concur with most posts here. The puzzles in DDO are fun to say the least. The fact that you actually have to think and do things intentionally is very engaging. For UnSub you hit the nail on the head, in that some people just shouldn't play MMO's. If you can't work together with your team and/or follow directions go play a single player game and leave the thinking and boss slaying to the rest of us.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 9:56AM (Unverified) said

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I like puzzles in that I like mini-games for abstractions like crafting or non-combat contests. I also don't mind red key/red door style map puzzles.

So I guess I don't mind puzzles at all.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 10:53AM (Unverified) said

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Puzzles are awesome!

Sadly to say, one of my favorite MMO dungeons is the pyramid dungeon(s) in Age of Conan. They had great puzzles in them that required the entire group running it to work together past them in order to progress. It was a 5-man run.

Like, there was the puzzle that require 2 players to each stand on a separate pedestal in order to shut down this hallway of flames to pass it. But, it then required 2 more players of the remaining group to stand on pedestals of the same type on the other side to keep the flames off in order to allow the first 2 players through with the rest of the group. Simple as it may be, you'd be surprised as to how many times players died before figuring it out.

And then there's the gas chamber puzzles, and the spike ground maze. And the creation of a final boss by going about and finding his body parts from other bosses and putting it together at the end on this resurrection stone.


...if only it was not so buggy as hell and the rest of the game so screwed up. I'm sure they've solved it by now, but their direction has moved more towards PvP for their remaining population so it matters not.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 5:14PM Jeromai said

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I'd like puzzles as an optional minigame activity. Not a progression block. If a dungeon incorporates puzzles, they'd better be for additional bonus rewards for taking up the challenge, rather than forcing everyone to play/solve it or else.

This assumes that the puzzle has some kind of random or skill-based element, otherwise it's pointless to implement what amounts to a few clicks delay to a walkthrough site.

Puzzle Pirates, which you've linked above, has some interesting puzzle minigames for crafting activities, but they seem to be mostly all optional - which is cool. If you like that type of puzzle and have some skill in it, then you can rank up in it.

Even their duty puzzles - which are the staple gameplay - has options in that you can keep the ship moving by sailing or rigging, whichever you're more comfortable in. Specific demand for skill at a certain specialist puzzle, say gunning, carpentry or bilging gives room for another type of option - the option to pick the puzzles you're good at to master.

You do run the risk of adding extra temptation to cyborg though. Ie. cheating via hooking oneself up to a bot or macro program when a player decides they can't solve that puzzle without additional outside help. Given the popularity of cheat codes and walkthroughs for singleplayer games, and leveling guides/powerleveling services/harvest bots for MMOs, I suspect this wouldn't be a small subset of your game population.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 7:26PM SkuzBukit said

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I think I agree with your line of reasoning, if a puzzle has to be got past for the whole group to proceed o the "main quest" it needs to be not too lengthy & not overly taxing, however for side-quests, or optional content I'd love to see puzzles used more, to give the group something to get it's teeth into for the chance at some neat loot or some other kind of neat reward, like uncovering some lost or forbidden book/lore/buried necromancer or something interesting, and the puzzles need not all be mechanical lever pulling/switch hitting something more intuitive like grabbing a mob & killing it on an altar to appease an angry god or something.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2010 6:57PM Lionhearted said

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I was very much hoping that STO would utilize puzzle elements in their game for non-combat missions, especially away missions. Lots of episodes were more or less 'puzzle' episodes, furthermore it would have been a viable way to make non-combat missions... and make them fun. I hope STO will do this and add sandbox elements (hello, holodecks) in the future, it could revolutionize MMOs and show exactly what you can do with an IP as wide and diverse as Star Trek.

Posted: Jan 21st 2010 10:33PM (Unverified) said

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Unfortunately that really isn't Cryptic's style so I wouldn't set your hopes too high.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 1:00AM cray said

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Definitely like searching for clues and solving puzzles, but I think there needs to be a way to avoid having the same solution which often gets posted on a wiki. Perhaps having random puzzles at different stages of the game, as well as random solutions to each puzzle.

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