| Mail |
You might also like: WoW Insider, Joystiq, and more

Reader Comments (25)

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 7:07PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
This is exactly how I feel 100% but I just get ridiculed by my group as a bitter jaded old gamer!

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:15PM LucentWolf said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified)

Hah, this is how I've felt for years too. I get the same words from my gaming group too. Jaded, bitter old MMO vet. :/ Patch after patch I tell them, don't you all realize this is the same content you just played! Then they tell me I've removed the : and ) from my keyboard and that I need to rename my character Apathy. : |
Reply

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:51PM Space Cobra said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
@LucentWolf @Unverified

You get that kind of attitude with any topic, be it music or culture or whatnot. Many young people aren't introspective enough or wise to compare and contrast(of course, there ARE exceptions), but they are open-minded and eager to do things. Most older folks forget to enjoy the simple things in life and remember how their frame of mind was when they were younger.

IMO, the balance of the two is essential, but many people don't do this. PT Barnum once said, "There is a sucker born every minute," and many young people, not wanting advice or thinking they know better, fall into those traps, however, you have to remember not to be too cynical and think you know everything (learning is a process that never stops and lessons can be found everywhere). Again, balance is key. Unfortunately, one side or the other (or both) sorta refuse to listen and are stubbornly "set in their ways" (even the younger gen).
Reply

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 7:23PM (Unverified) said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
It's why I play games like Wurm and Minecraft, they don't have levels, but they allow you freedom to find fun as you like it.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 7:27PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
This is why I love LOTRO. Granted, for my formulaic "loving of lotro" there are about 10 levels of "slot machine" between when the opening, self-sustaining barrage of the epic line slows down and when Skirmishes open up, but as of level 20, there is no "grind" for me in LOTRO. I do the epic until I hit a level barrier, then I skirmish to meet the difference. These are both things I absolutely love to do, and so I am never grinding. the only time I broke this formula was to grind out legendary trait drops, (and some Rivendell rep grinding... gotta have my elfy horse!) but other than that, it's been all story and self-contained action that I can involve my friends with, two things I love in MMOs.

The idea of "suffering through the grind to get to the fun" is something ANet is claiming to attack with GW2, and everything they are claiming to do to do that sounds like it will work, and I hope it does.

This article spoke very strongly to my feelings about MMOs in general, and was well written. :)

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 7:28PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
" Enjoyment of minute-to-minute gameplay is being replaced by hours of frustration unless we manage to match three-of-a-kind to get our loot drops."

Actually, I've seen a general move away from this sort of thing. Sure, you can get loot drops in WoW raids, but you also get valor / justice tokens no matter what. GW2 looks to also be moving toward a token style system.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 7:29PM Darkmoone said

  • 1 heart
  • Report
Your rant is a little bit incohesive Jeremy. Loot has always been the first thing anyone cared about going back to pen and paper rpg's, so you really can't blame people for that.

You can't blame the player if developers are dumbing down content for console players. They're just trying to reach a wider audience, the developer has the choice to do this or not. How is this the players fault?.

Those skippable levels are for people re-rolling classes, again how is this the players fault the developers made re-rolling dull?. Besides any new player probably wont take advantage of this because he/she will probably want to see most of the leveling content.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 7:45PM (Unverified) said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@Darkmoone
"You can't blame the player if developers are dumbing down content for console players."

You can if the players continue to give the developers money when they do that. Money talks the loudest in many cases.
Reply

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:03PM jeremys said

  • 2.5 hearts
  • Report
@Darkmoone This made me recall the crazy antics of my friends and our roleplaying nights.

The first thing any of us cared about (which got more complex with each campaign) was how to elaborately burn down the local tavern.

We then usually made up elaborate plots to mess with each other. One friend hid in another's pillow-case(as a gnome -- they're small enough, of course) each time he came home and then would scare him, until the third time, when he anticipated the result, he hid the owner's pet monkey inside of the pillowcase. Resulting in our friend violently stabbing the pillow, only to find out he killed his poor monkey (Disclaimer: No real animal was harmed in the making of this adventure).

We spent one whole evening bickering over which character should do what based off its alignment when we were supposed to start a new adventure. My friend's magic-user was on a boat that he was supposed to help us commandeer to go somewhere, when he decided to charm all the crab men and have them harass us.

As another magic-user that could have been great help, I decided not to forcefully attack. I was Neutral-good. I had decided if I was neutral-good, I wouldn't just charge in slaughtering, especially if a friend was involved -- even if he was messing with us.

Bickering ensued and we ended up spending all night with dancing crab-men and debating how a neutral-good wizard would act in the real-world(totally plausible, right?)

It was always about the journey for us, where ever that journey happened to take us, and not the destination or treasure at the end(I miss those days).
Reply

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:27PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@Darkmoone

I could not disagree with you more. I blame the playerbase for steering the developers towards the loot piñta style. Way too many people playing MMOs now feel that they are entitled to get gear just because they sub to the game; they don't feel that they need to actually play the game to get rewarded. In order to keep people playing the game, the devs have to satisfy everyone's special needs.

Everyone I every played old school RPGs with was all about the adventure, and leveling was more enticing than gear. A lot of those old games didn't require full sets of special gear for adventuring. The gear rewards seemed to be more important in video games, but even that was fine when people were playing the game for the right reasons.

Many MMO players aren't really gamers, and their idea of social is different than a gamer's idea. The thing is, the gear collectors pay money too, which keeps these games coming. If I knew how to solve this problem, how to satisfy all players in MMOs, I'd be doing it somewhere and making a ton of money. Sadly, I don't have a clue how to fix it.
Reply

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 10:03AM happyfish said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@(Unverified) I disagree that new mmo players are not gamers. I think they are gamers and not people playing as a hobby. As a gamer I don't have much tolerance for the old school mmo standards like gather 40 people to kill a boss for one piece of loot, etc. I think mmos are catering more towards the traditional gamer opposed to designing content around people who view mmos as a lifestyle.
Reply

Posted: Aug 18th 2011 12:51PM GrumpyGnome said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
@happyfish

I'd say that MMO's are catering to single player PC RPG & Console gamers, but not catering to MMO gamers. I can't think of a recent big name MMO that was designed for people who want to "live" in the game world, but tons of them that cater to the instant gratification crowd.

Not bashing here, just my observation.
Reply

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:05PM LeStryfe79 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I remember pushing a button repeatedly for 40 hours straight in Entropia Universe, lol. I was grinding my tailoring skill, and then suddenly I hit an $80 jackpot that made it all worthwhile. Definitely a casino out there. :)

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:15PM Bramen said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Right on, Jeremy Stratton!

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 8:43PM (Unverified) said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
I think one problem, of many, that keep MMO players tied to a style of game they may not like so much anymore is the desire to have that source of entertainment. They wouldn't want to stop playing those games if there are no better alternatives out there. In their minds having something to do right now is better than giving up their game for a far-off chance at something better. They may hop from one game to another while waiting for what they want thus giving developers more money for those type of games to continue to live on.

It's not a wholly negative thing to do. Despite the behavior of funding the same game types over and over again, it keeps the MMO market a profitable venture which draws in more developers. Sure we'd get more of the same in that respect, but at least there's a different game to be had every so often.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 9:40PM blackcat7k said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
While what you explained in this soapbox is true, what do you really expect from developers?

We know the technology to produce an MMO is not cheap, and it will continue to skyrocket as the years go on. The developer can’t spend an infinite amount of time making thoughtful robust systems for players to experience before they run of money.

“There’s only X amount of content and the player will blow through this amount pretty quickly. Therefore we need to slam roadblocks to put brakes on their progression so they don’t find that we really don’t have as much content as we say we do.”

Experience Bars
Notoriety/Faction Bars
Item Binding
Set Gear bought from points from consecutive runs
Set Gear from Boss drops
Instance Lockouts/Timers

And now that F2P is becoming more popular I can only see systems like this becoming harsher and more prominent. Because then players can be charged to alleviate the grind in the form of point gain boosters and drop rate increases. Pretty shrewd (appauling), but I think it will be a stain on MMOs if it persists.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 9:59PM Nandini said

  • Half a heart
  • Report
This editorial rambled too much to keep my attention and make a point. Next time, when you want to influence people's opinions, try handing out a pamphlet first. Save the rest of the manifesto for later.

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 10:40PM Graill440 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
Choose not to play an MMO for 6 months to a year, that will be all the message you need to send to some of these developer clowns. Right now there are some pretty decent single player games out there with longevity. For those needing digital social interaction instead of the real thing, try faceplant or the other social thingy, twittee or twitewire or whatever its called. Of course, real life is always an option too. (laugh)

Posted: Aug 16th 2011 11:56PM Jef Reahard said

  • 3 hearts
  • Report
Interesting read Jeremy (and I'm also planning to riff on that Gamasutra piece in an upcoming Soapbox, haha).

Imo, cynicism is warranted if you're a creative player, or someone who is interested in the virtual worlds that MMOs once were. They've now devolved to the point where I basically feel like I'm solving math problems for hours on end rather than exploring a new world, and progression has unfortunately replaced imagination now that the genre is so mainstream.

People trot out the "rose-colored glasses" argument when I say that, and that always cracks me up because I'm still playing the older games and thus know for a fact that MMO feature lists have changed dramatically (in a few cases for the better but mostly for the worse).

That said, I'm hopeful thanks to things like Minecraft and the fact that my grandma has heard of it (but hasn't played it, lol). I think eventually we will see the market fragment and the current progression-grind-or-bust mentality will give way to different niches for different types of gamers.

Posted: Aug 17th 2011 1:40AM GMickey001 said

  • 2 hearts
  • Report
GREAT article, couldnt agree more with ALL points. Thank you very much for finally putting into an article what Ive been missing for the longest time.
The trouble as I see it is that people want that 'quick fix'; that 'Pavlov's dogs', ring the bell get a treat mentality is behind the whole thing.
Real Role Playing is what makes a game fun and expansive. Sometimes you have to look past the tree to see the forest.

And now its time for my look into 'history back'...
Back in 1982, when I first discovered ye ol' pen and paper RPG's it was all about the journey and the DM trying to baffle the players with diabolical traps or a mindbending puzzle...... Ahhh those were the days.

And the' journey' has become lost in MMO's today for all the reasons listed above, specifically the 'Greed/Loot' mechanic.

The mindset of players has to change in order for the industry to fill a true MMORPG need.

But again, great article and insightful. Hope it makes the younger game players think about what they COULD have as opposed to what we DO have now days....

Featured Stories

Leaderboard: Which dead MMO is your favorite?

Posted on Jul 30th 2014 12:00PM

The Daily Grind: Do you prize MMO stability?

Posted on Jul 30th 2014 8:00AM

Engadget

Engadget

Joystiq

Joystiq

WoW Insider

WoW

TUAW

TUAW