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Reader Comments (12)

Posted: Aug 19th 2010 1:05PM Crabtree said

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The MMOs of the past are still successful today because they offer a /complete and refined gaming experience/ to their subscribers. Games like WoW and CoX have had years to perfect the user experience, leading them to the success and longevity that seems elusive to more recent MMOs.

MMOs of the past had the luxury of growing over time, but that is not a luxury that new MMOs have, and I do not feel that developers have truly embraced that concept. You simply cannot release an incomplete game like you could 10 years ago and expect to build it over time. Whether or not their expectations are reasonable, subscribers aren't going to leave complete and refined games like WoW and CoX for a newly released game that doesn't offer the same refined user experience. It is simply a poor investment.

I am tired of hearing that games are “still in Beta," or that they are "only 6-months old." Those aren't excuses anymore. Successful MMOs like WoW and CoX have set standards that developers refuse to meet at launch time, and as a result, their games will continue to fall short of the success enjoyed by older, more refined titles.

Posted: Aug 19th 2010 1:49PM Tezcatli said

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Completely agree with Marcellus. When I tried Warhammer. It felt the same as WoW. And far less polished. Then I tried Aion and while it was pretty well polished. Nothing stood out. Those games actually made me get back into WoW. Simply because I already had very well polished game and friends to play with.
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Posted: Aug 19th 2010 1:29PM DeadlyAccurate said

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I have to agree with you. I just installed City of Heroes last night and activated a trial account, and I'm already impressed with the level of depth I've seen in the game. I also recently did the same with EQ2, and while I only played it for a few months, I did enjoy every minute of it. It just felt so much more complete than the newer titles I'd been attempting to play.
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Posted: Aug 19th 2010 1:41PM (Unverified) said

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I agree with you 100%, up until your last paragraph. You kind of say one thing and than say the opposite.

Not sure if you were there for the launch of WoW or CoH, but honestly, they were horrible. Highly unbalance and, CoH specifically, incomplete/buggy. Now, I agree, you can't get away with that these days, but you could in the past. It's easy to say/see NOW that WoW/CoH are complete and polished, but they've have SOOO long to get it right.

I agree though, that doesn't fly these days. You can't release in the same state UO/CoH/WoW/EQ1/EQ2/Most_MMOs release in these days. If people don't see the polish/production_value from day one, they just quit and go to something that has had a good 5-10 years to get it right, tried and true.

Really the First/Second gen MMOs were just lucky in that the market wasn't yet saturated with MMOs, and the non-mainstream clients of back then would put up with the new technologies and problems associated with the initial launch.
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Posted: Aug 19th 2010 1:55PM Crabtree said

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All I meant by the last paragraph was that the current standard of MMOs should be a 6-year-old quality game like WoW or CoX, meaning that developers are going to have to launch a comparably high-quality game to experience any kind of comparable success.

Simply put, they no longer have the luxury of growing over 6 years; they have to do it at launch. Recent MMOs have not met the standard, and that is a major contributor to their failures.
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Posted: Aug 19th 2010 3:57PM Tizmah said

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No, I think people have just gotten extremely picky. That's why they go back to all these MMOs in the past trying to reignite some hidden craving that isn't really there. Then they get stuck in an endless loop of MMO hopping until a new one comes out ready to dog it after playing for a bit. Sounds like what addicted people normally do who try to find a new kick but can't find it..so they go back to the old stuff before they realize it's boring still....Sad.
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Posted: Aug 19th 2010 5:23PM Crabtree said

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I am hesitant to disagree with you, because I think you have a good point about addiction. However, I really do not feel that there is a reasonable arguement that will contradict the idea that the majority of MMOs released in the past year or so have not been high enough quality to experience the same type of success and longevity that older MMOs like WoW and CoX have.

To the point, 10 years ago, MMOs had the opportunity to start out small/broken/unfinished and grow into a complete and refined product. The market, and the demand, was small and inexperienced enough for that to work in the past. That is no longer the case.

Today, MMO players expect (perhaps unreasonably, but that hardly changes the expectation) a refined product on launch day. I believe that the quality and success of modern MMOs suffers because developers still operate under the assumption that they can grow into their MMOs. Players no longer accept that.
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Posted: Aug 19th 2010 1:33PM Jade Effect said

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CoH is the first and for some time, it was the only super-hero based MMO. The lack of competition worked in its favor, just as there were few space-based MMO when Eve started out.

CoH also launched at a time when players are used to release-first-patch-later MMOs. Once, players will grant MMOs months to work out the kirks. Nowadays, players aren't quite so forgiving and will readily dump the game within the first few months if there isn't a high level of complete-ness.

If WoW launched today, it would probably have died within a few months.

Posted: Aug 19th 2010 3:10PM Superfan said

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CoH is a very solid game with a ton of features and some content (some may say a lot of content but I do not could the repetitive nature as a ton). So, why not go to CoH instead of a shiny new game? After SO MANY recent failures (Champs Online is a prime example) wht not go to a game that works and is fun. Sure, CoH could be so much more with the proper dev team in place but it's not bad right now. Also, a new lead dev is in place so things may look even better in the near future.

Going Rogue is more a reboot than an expansion. It's look is nice and the new Ultra Mode gives it a nice, new look. Sadly, they did the same thing that often drove me away: they reused the same mission maps. Now any new players will get their fill of repetitive in Praetoria and then get slammed with the same old maps in the CoV and CoH areas. This is an epic fail, IMO and it may come around to bite them. Even using the same maps for the hospital and Studio 55 in Praetoria was a bit lame... Studio 55 could have been so much more and should be considering it is in a glorious utopia. It should be high end all the way but it's just the same crap look as Pocket D.

Anyway, GR brought a lot of players in/back. I am liking it but after a few days, I am feeling a bit of the 'been there, done that' blues. The new missions are cool but you need to read them - not easy to do on a team. Also, they did not get too innovative or original with things to do in GR.

All in all, I like GR but it almost feels they piled on the same old, same old. The play and objectives are familiar so why just pile more of it on? Go out on a limb! You have 6 years worth of the same old so any new stuff will not be too risky :)

Posted: Aug 19th 2010 10:05PM Jeromai said

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I smell burnout at work. If the play and objectives are too familiar to you, then you're still too uncomfortably close to the game.

I took an extended break for 1.5 years, and while yes, some of the map layouts are still unfortunately quite similar (Praetorian Earth still shares the same infuriating office design as Primal Earth, durn mirror universes), the art assets are most definitely not, and they've put in new layouts (the curving Underground rail track comes to mind immediately, and some other Underground ones.)

They've tweaked mission objectives. Speed complete mission or face opposition is a nice spin. World glowies doesn't seem earthshaking, but I suppose why not build in the potential for later.

They've tweaked targeting. Yellow target reticle is big, imo. Neutral mobs who won't attack unless you turn aggressor have a lot of storytelling potential and feeds back into player choice.

Dialogue trees and morality choices go without saying.

They've done a number on mob groups too. The Ghouls were giving my lowbie dominator a run for her money until I figured out how to deal with them. eg. Transfusing on death suddenly makes positional knockback or ranged sniping more important than AoE. And there's a really sneaky spawn arrangement for Ghouls where you just see one of them, and after you aggro, one more jumps down from the invisible ceiling or some such. I thought it quite a clever workaround for something as hard-baked into their engine as dynamic spawns at such and such locations.

For all the time they've had to develop and to overhaul their very well established engine so thoroughly, Going Rogue's pretty good. Sure it'll be nice if all the map layouts are unrecognizable but well, maybe we'll get some kind of user-created layout editor a la the Supergroup base editor in some far future Issue. :)
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Posted: Aug 20th 2010 1:48PM Superfan said

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I don't think it's burnout as I still enjoy playing once in a while. I was hoping GR would offer the vets more to do but it's not bad. GR seems more like a reboot for CoX and the purpose is to bring in new players. We'll see how they do in late Sept when many of the 'free 30 days with purchase' terms have ended.

One big concern is new zones are to, likely, spread the playerbase apart. Praetoria doesn't have any real connection to primal Earth so there is no supergroup or coalition chat - you can't communicate with your group and team. Could be a concern in the near future.

The new zone is great and the mission design is cool. However, when you team only the leader makes the calls while the rest of the team just sits. Not a good thing. Even trying to read the mission becomes a pain as the mission description window keeps going blank when you try and read a mission. Seems to be bugged. So, if you're not the team leader, how different does it seem when you compare to doing missions in the old zones. These mission types are a bit different but not by a lot. These devs seem to really lack imagination sometimes.

I am still shocked they recycled old maps. Someone noted making new mission maps is a lot of work. So do the work. 6 plus years and the majority of the missions happen in the same few environments. It is very sad. Such a waste. Even the new ones are reused constantly lol.

GR is ok but it could have been so much more. I really think the devs lost touch with the players.

Posted: Aug 20th 2010 7:38PM JasonX22 said

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@Superfan: How can you say that the devs lost touch with its playerbase, when we have devs that come on the boards almost daily to ask our input of what we like to have for future content...etc...etc...! It doesnt make a bit of since. Just because we have some reskinned mission maps doesnt mean they dont have our best interest in hand. From what i've seen the past few years of playing is that the devs are pushing the game in a direction no one thought it was able to go.

Yes the engine is dated(very dated) even I was astounded to see the kind of work they put out with an engine that old. is it tedious? Yes! but you cannot deny that they are not paying attention to our concerns. Not everyone will get what they want, but its a big step in the right direction...IMHO!


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