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Reader Comments (103)

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 8:24AM (Unverified) said

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The current crop of MMOs are tired and derivative. They offer small incremental innovations but leave the fundamentals the same. There are levels, hit points, whack-of-attrition, quest hubs, clickies, and, sigh, grinding.

They're theme parks where the rides are the same as last year with a lick of paint and a two new bends. Yawn.

Improvements? There are many. Too many to list. Why? Because current MMOs are all, at their foundation, the same game. Yet there are countless other 'games' that could be MMOed. And different people like different things, so there's no one right answer.

For mine, I'd like to see a few basic things improved across the board:

1) Polish. That's uncontroversial enough.

2) Better AI. Really, the AI in MMOs is embarrassing.

3) Social content. Sure, let people solo. But encourage grouping. That's the 'M', remember?

4) Innovate progression. Can you imagine if, in the Army, to become a general you had to kill 1,000,000 people? It's absurd.

5) Utilise your players. Let people get together to shape content and keep it dynamic. Whether it's EVE and owning territory, or genuine markets, or opening it up to modders, or interacting with players through events, or promoting some players and enabling them to direct content, or adding 'ranks' and a strategic layer - crikey, people are dynamic, motivated and love to interact with other people. How hard can it be?

6) Don't try to outcompete WoW. Remember, people like different things. Don't necessarily reinvent the wheel, but don't be afraid to innovate.

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 11:18AM Firebreak said

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That is exactly what I think except better written. I endorse the OP 100%.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2010 1:29PM karnisov said

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nice post. especially idea #4.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2010 5:27PM Bezza said

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Yes, all too often developers try to force or control how gamers play. At the end of the day the players will play how they choose. Content that can only be accessed in a large well organised team is content many players will never experience because they don’t belong to a raiding guild.

For a number of valid reasons many gamers do not play in large guilds and don't meet the criteria these areas require. Sure it's a 'massive multiplayer' game but devs need to accept that many players choose to play in smaller groups than these, not always solo, but often with online friends who they enjoy playing with.

The model of trying to make players guild up in big guilds in order to access high end content is outdated. Many gamers play with people they know in RL or have known online in other games. These small groups are often denied access to higher end content simply because they don’t conform to developers expectations that everyone will follow the path they desire. It would be more productive if developers recognise and accept that players will choose their own way of playing, it’s what gamers do, they do what they enjoy and not everyone enjoys the same thing.
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Posted: Mar 1st 2010 4:22AM (Unverified) said

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I think the problem now is, like everything else in this world, money.

When games like EQ, DAoC and AC were out it was all about innovation and just making a good fun game. MMO's were still very much a niche gaming market.

WoW hits the streets and boasts unreal subscription numbers, WoW managed to time the MMO tipping point perfectly. Now gaming companies see that MMOs can make a shitload of money.

So now publishers won't sign on an MMO unless it's guaranteed subscription numbers. How do you hit those numbers? You follow a successful formula, you let the gamers feel comfortable playing a new game so they can get right in.

There's no more room for innovation anymore. If it's not going to make money, nobody is going to publish it. And nobody is willing to take the risk on something new. The MMO market will remain stale until it dies out back to a niche market, and hopefully at that point we'll get something nice.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2010 8:28AM Exalier said

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I did feel a bit burned out on MMO's until I got into EVE. I have only been playing for a few weeks but am really enjoying it. The only MMO on teh horizon im looking forward to is Star Wars: TOR.

I enjoyed WAR up until level 20ish. WoW has just died for me.

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 9:52AM Dranaerys said

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Im kinda with jslim, I tried out eve for 2 weeks, and at some point during my trial, I found myself nodding off in my chair while listening to lovely spaceopera music, waiitng for my ship to do its mining. Then it hit me. I'm up, fighting sleep at 2am in the morning MINING dome goddamn space asteroid.

Game got instantly uninstalled, it was not for me. :p
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Posted: Feb 28th 2010 9:59PM swarmofcats said

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You can solo in EVE, but it does make for a boring game. Once you start interacting with other people it becomes much more interesting because the community is what makes the actual game.
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Posted: Mar 1st 2010 8:49AM Unverfied B said

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I am playing EVE for about half a year now and (unless stuff starts drastically changing really soon) i'll probably quit it soon.

PVE is either boring to the levels when you want to punch your own eyes out, or accessible only to groups of players with a few years worth of skill points.

PVP is good on paper, until you realise that
1) EVE servers are absolutely unable to handle any really massive battle... if you are lucky get minutes-long lag to activate any module or do anything, if not - you get stuck loading grid and wake up in the cloning bay.
2) You MUST do the oh god so boring PVE to pay for your PVP ships, to pay NPC taxes for conquering territory, etc.

And don't get me started on the user-unfriendly UI, on the total lack of anything resembling balance, on the fact that unless you started playing when the game released you NEVER going to catch up with the older players, and the myriad of other problems.

This game could become a great game with a lot of potential, but if the developers dont get their heads out of their ass it will stay the 300k-subscribers shithole that it is now.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2010 8:51AM (Unverified) said

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Cant say i look forward to any of those three, dont see them as being that different from todays games, its all the same generation as far as im concerned. Earthrise, Jumpgate Evolution, World of Darkness and the Secret World are games that have something different and those are the ones im waiting for.

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 11:25AM (Unverified) said

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WoD was a great table top series
werewolf the apocolypse: this is all the werebeasts such as werewolfs, bastets(werecats like lions,tiger,cheetahs,panther) , corax (crows , ravens) , mokole (crocodiles , aligators, DRAGONS) , rokeah(sharks)(cant remember the correct spelling) gural(bears)

Vampire the Masqurade clans

(Camarilla) Brujah - Malkavian - Nosferatu - Toreador - Tremere - Ventrue

(Sabbat) Lasombra - Tzimisce

(Independent) Assamite - Gangrel - Giovanni - Ravnos - Followers of Set

Werewolf the apocolypse Tribes

Black Furies, Bone Gnawers, Children of Gaia, Fianna, Get of Fenris, Glass Walkers, Red Talons, Shadow Lords, Silent Striders, Silver Fangs, Uktena, Wendigo

Ajaba = hyenas

Ananasi = spiders

Apis = minotaur type (OX)

Bastet = bigcats
(Bagheera: Leopards, Balam: Jaguars, Bubasti: Sacred Cats of Ancient Egypt, Ceilican: White Lions of the Fae, Khan: Tigers, Khara: Saber-toothed cats, Pumonca: Cougars, Qualmi: Lynx, Simba: Lions, Swara: Cheetahs)

Camazotz = bats

Corax = crow, raven

Grondr = boars

Gurahl = bears

Kitsune = fox

Mokolé = aligator, crocodile

Nagah = snakes

Nuwisha = coyotes

Ratkin = rats

Rokea = sharksmage the accention

these were amazing tabletop games, when they were roleplayed in themed chat rooms it was great, sure they were free form and whitewolf rules rooms and of course the freeform rooms used certain rules to make rp flow smoothly.

now i would LOVE to see a modern take on the world of darkness in a modern MMO but none of this

"go here kill this many then come back"

and none of this

"collect this many kill this many come back then do this to that then collect your shitty reward"

make MMO's that are part quest part PvP and part PvE where they ALL blend in

EVE i have never played and dont want to play but in WoD each race and subrace would have a safe house where they can go and train and such.

WoD should be an MMORPG because there is so much content and so much possablitys it would be cool.

there WAS supposed to have been a werewolf game but that was canceled in favour for the pc game Vampire the masqurade:bloodlines(which saw that developer go bust weeks after the launch)

so uumm where was i :P
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Posted: Mar 1st 2010 7:36AM (Unverified) said

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Yes indeed, the WoD series was incredible. I was a storyteller for that system for nigh on 10 years. I still believe that the dedication I had at the time to get games written up for my small group without fail helped me to secure a job as a designer in the industry.

CCP (of Eve and Dust fame) are supposedly developing the WoD MMO, although it has been very quiet on the front for quite some time. As Massively reported recently, CCP has taken over Midway in Newcastle (UK) but they appear to be hiring for console titles.. (Dust perhaps?). I really hope they will develop WoD there as the UK has almost zero MMO companies (Realtime Worlds/APB... is that an MMO????)

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Posted: Feb 28th 2010 7:43PM (Unverified) said

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The current crop of mmos are just plain average. Since The first 2 years of WoW everything has been mearly average, Lotro,Aion,Warhammer, Champions Online, Star Trek Online and AOC all have been average. I been trying Lotro lately and I know it is polished but there is just something about this game that literally makes me yawn infront of the pc. Unless FFXIV comes out this year I i will not be playing any mmos at all this year.

I'll stick to non mmos such as Borderlands, Mass Effect 2, Guild Wars (CORPG) and will be looking forward to the re-release of Hellgate and we can't forget about Starcraft 2.

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 7:58PM alinos said

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Yeah Guild wars is a great game although its kinda fallen into disrepair now since the sequel was annonced

it actually had crafted story missions(something i think all MMO's need) instead of the usual go here kill this kill that quest done missions that WoW favoured so much

and it still has my favourite PvP because
A) its tactical
B) its not just one group of 8 with the samne skills spamming and yelling heals as the other team
C)to win teamwork is necessary the entire ream needs to work as one if each players build isnt compatable with the rest your screwed
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Posted: Feb 28th 2010 10:01PM swarmofcats said

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If you like GW and Borderlands you should try Global Agenda. It's a great game.
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Posted: Feb 28th 2010 9:20AM Valdur said

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I'm a bit fed up with all the uninspired games with the same old tired recipe hitting the market during the last 5 years.Always the same pattern lots of hype and promises and a poor product at arrival.

I think it's really time for mmorpg to evolve and I do feel that EvE and TSW has already taken that route.

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 9:30AM Rialle said

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Mainly, it seems that a lot of the big MMO releases in the past several years have been touted (either by players or by the developers/publishers themselves) as WoW-killers as soon as they are announced.

I believe this may even influence the developers to make their games more WoW-like than originally intended... which ultimately ends up hurting most games.

It is hard for me to get hyped about a new release so early into it's dev cycle when all people have to say about it is "THIS WILL KILL WOW."

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 9:32AM (Unverified) said

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Things I'm tired of in MMO's

: Exclamation Points over peoples heads. Isn't there a more INTERESTING way to get info on quests?

: Mobs that take two steps to the left then two steps to the right. WoW does it a little bit but in general, all mob pve mob ai is pretty nonexistent.

: Kill Ten Boars/rats/bats/heffalumps. This isn't a quest, it's pest control.

: Why no failure? How about a little chance to actually lose. Success in a quest leads to one reward and another quest, but how about failure leading to a different quest? Failure to stop a bank robbery/assassination/magical experiment leads to a hunt to track down the loot/assassin/escaped outer planar creature.

: No consequences for actions. "No problem at all Mr. Paladin that you just helped the thieves guild with a smuggling operation. Say...How would you like to go kill twenty rats?" There were a couple of contacts in Cith of Heroes I REALLY wanted to tell off but the quest line wouldn't let me. :\

: Reasonable time frame for high level stuff. 4 hours/6 hours/12 hours for a raid may work for high schoolers but Mrs. Boss Lady expects me to actually be conscious for work. If it really can't be done in a couple of hours, it should have steps that allow it to be picked up by us cogs in the machinery.

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 9:34AM (Unverified) said

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The only 2 mmos I'm looking forward to are ffxiv and the secret world, mostly becuase fhey seen to get the idea fhat the mmo genre needs a change:

Posted: Feb 28th 2010 5:22PM wjowski said

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Hilarious. SE hasn't done anything innovative since the 90's.
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