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Reader Comments (13)

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 8:43AM (Unverified) said

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I love the dungeon finder in WoW, don't get me wrong, but I am looking forward to cataclysm when they bring back cc and tactics in 5 mans. (At least until you overgear the encounters, then it will go back to being an aoe mowdown). I miss having to think about pulls. The only difficult 5 man atm is H HoR, which is only hell by how the mobs spawn.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 8:44AM HooDiergod said

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Personally, I think you hit both sides of it pretty well. While it is nice not to have much wasted time (I'm all for efficiency), you seem to lose that depth, people just want to go as fast as they can through and start the next one so they can level/loot/etc. And you seem to be just another number in a day, no longer a person so thus tends to lead to people acting a bit less than dignified.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 8:49AM (Unverified) said

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i like the LotRO skirmish system and the PQ's in WAR, but I think the real problem in MMOs is the linear progression. It will be nice when someone releases a well developed sandbox game that doesn't look like a screen saver or like it was designed by a graduate from the ITT Game Designer Correspondence Program.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 8:53AM (Unverified) said

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If we look backwards though we can see where this comes from.

If you had only a half hour, you could log into UO and get something accomplished. Even if it was just run in, mine some ore, smelt it, make a couple pieces of armor and put it in your store.

Diablo II, although not an MMO in the same way, also spoiled us with the ability to accomplish something with under an hour of time. Even with just 15 minutes, you could log on, do Pindleskin or Meph or whatever and have a chance for a good drop.

Conversely, where you used FFXI, the real problem started with EQ. Where you could sit for a long time trying to get a group or a spot at a spawn point. I only played EQ up to Planes of Power, but at that time if you logged on, even for a cleric it could take up to an hour to form a party and travel to a destination or fight your way through to a spawn. And once at that spawn point, you were committed to stay for a couple hours.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 8:55AM Wisdomandlore said

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There's no reason you can't have depth and accessibility. Game designers seem stuck on this false dichotomy that intuitive equals shallow, and that deep and engaging games must be unfriendly. This isn't just MMOs. It's an industry wide phenomenon.

BTW, if you played a Dragoon, it was your fault you had to sit around for three hours. Only FFXI had FOTM classes that were completely gimp. :P

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 9:15AM Pewpdaddy said

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I like the quickness of being able to jump in and actually get something done. I remember back when I played FFXI sitting Jueno for 2+ hours regularly fishing for a 40+ party for my RDM/WHM and THF/NIN ... Really hated FFXI for that, always assuming everyone had 6+ hours to play.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 9:16AM theembalmed said

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How about the ability to be able to do things alone. I wont play most games anymore cause i can log on with 2 hours to kill and 20 minutes later i get a call and have to log out and leave. I would hate to drop out of a group in the middle of a run. You should be able to run around on your own, alone without a group, and play the game. Its not an anti social thing, but sometimes its nice to be alone in a game world.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 9:20AM Darkdust said

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I suspect this has as much to do with playstyle as it does game choice. If you do high-level raiding, then this can possibly present a problem. Grinding, crafting, lower-intensity PvE... these sorts of things generally are easier to get into (and out of) in most games.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 10:29AM (Unverified) said

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I find that the issues are seperate. On the one hand I want to get into the action as fast as possible, but on the other, I don't want to find zero challenge in running a bg/instance/raid. I can't wait for the return of 5 mans with CC and strategy, where my skill was what mattered as a tank, instead of a warm body to fill the role.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 11:59AM (Unverified) said

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This is where WAR and Fantasy Earth Zero get it right: constant, immediate, massive PvP at your fingertips 24/7.

In WAR, if the server is populated enough, you can jump in, find the open warband, and run around open rvr like a moron until you are interrupted by life or just want to quit.

In Fantasy Earth Zero, you can login, look at the current wars going on (there is always a war, even if you have to merc for another nation), join up on one, and wars are at maximum 45 minutes long (with a timer) so you can wrap it up rather quickly.


Both of these games do an excellent job of jump in, jump out massive PvP. More "hardcore" PvP games cannot do this as they require a lot more planning to group together, and typically those games do not have fast travel implemented. Full loot also means that you will typically do more non-combat crafting and grinding to prep for PvP, so you are not "always ready". Sure, your PvP may be more "epic", but if I have to choose between one "epic" battle a week, or 4-5 short burst wars every night, I think I know where I'll have more fun.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 2:06PM LizardSF said

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Simply put, I do not like to pay money to not play a game. I do not want "instant gratification" -- I don't care if it take 15 or 20 or 40 hours to accomplish a goal, but I *do* care if the minimum time block I can dedicate to that goal is too large to be practical. If it takes 40 hours to get the Uberweapon Of Ultimate Pwning, fine -- but let me chop away at that 40 hours in 15 minute blocks. Even a 1 hour block is acceptable, if there's a lot of other activity I can do in 15 minute blocks while I wait to get an hour or two free. But if doing anything other than tedious grinding of barely-green mobs requires a multi-hour wait for a group, I will take my time and money and go elsewhere.

It's fine if content goes faster in a group -- maybe it will take a group of 5 ten hours to get the Uberweapon, and me 50 hours solo. I just don't want to have to wait hour after hour after hour and not do *anything*. Long spawn times and minuscule drop rates do not make the game more "challenging", only more tedious. Let the challenge be in beating the boss monster, not in forcing your bladder to hold out until the boss monster spawns.

All that said, I dislike the "lobby" system which games turn into while, at the same time, liking the fact I can access content I otherwise could not, due to being lower level than most of my guildies and on an irregular play schedule. It's nice to actually see some of the dungeons in WoW, which I couldn't do prior to DF. It's less nice that I'm rushed through the content by hyperactive 15 year olds who won't pause to let me read quest text, admire the architecture, or check to see what that drop I just got does.

Posted: Jun 2nd 2010 2:38PM J Brad Hicks said

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I can't improve on Lizard's first sentence, immediately above: "Simply put, ,I do not like to pay money to not play a game."

But that being said, if you have a taste for solo play (and all quick-in, quick-out missions almost have to be solo, unless you can guarantee that public quests will always be occupied), almost every MMO in history has had an "I only have 15 minutes to play" activity: grinding trash mobs, aka "street sweeping." Go to any public area where enemy NPCs spawn regularly, and kill them until you run out of time. Somebody may even join you.

(Although probably not, if you're in City of Heroes, where they swung the balance hammer way too hard in favor of instances a couple of years ago, to the point where the game actively punishes you for street sweeping: half the XP, half the loot, twice the XP penalty for every defeat. So no wonder everybody is in instant-instances all the time instead.)

Posted: Jun 3rd 2010 12:02PM Valdamar said

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Yeah Lizard's first sentence perfectly sums up how I feel too. After 3 years of playing EverQuest from launch I was just about done with in-game time-sinks (spending 15mins sat down waiting for mana/health to regenerate, spending 30mins crossing the world to meet up with friends, etc) and socially engineered time-sinks (spending 1-2 hours trying to get on a team or build a team). I'm glad MMOs have cut down waiting times for grouping and cut out a lot of the engineered time-sinks that the previous generation MMOs had.

I just hit my 4 year veteran badge on City of Heroes and that game is perfect for getting into the action fast, what with fast travel powers and minimal downtimes or waiting times. I can log-in and achieve more in 15mins than I could in several hours of EverQuest. If I want a group for a task/strike force I can be in a full group of 8 people within 5 minutes of logging in thanks to global channels (even on Union/Defiant, which are pretty quiet compared to US servers by all accounts). Sure, I miss some of the exploration value that EQ had, but I think it's a price worth paying.

I don't want lobby games though - I didn't enjoy that aspect in DDO and Guild Wars - but CoH shows that it's possible to have minimal travel times (and to make travelling fun!) and very little downtime while still maintaining immersion and the feeling of being in a larger world.

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