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Rob Pardo - Games With Friends
Originally Posted by Blizzard
Rob Pardo was at Unite this year and gave a short presentation
during the keynote.
- Dungeons and Dragons had a big impact on him as a game designer. It had a social storytelling experience that required a team.
- Next he played some fighter games, such as Karate Champ.
- Deathmatch games such as Doom came next, introducing new concepts. They were competitive games that you could play for a long time and leaderboards.
- Warcraft II was the next game that had a big impact, as it was the first game he remembers playing with teams.
- Next came online worlds like Ultima Online. Pardo saw people killing birds, collecting feathers, and making arrows to kill more birds, which looked boring. He then played the game and walked into the city where there were lots of players talking and interacting.
- Everquest took the online world concept and added challenges that required a deep level of commitment, teamwork, and guilds, resulting in deep and long lasting friendships.
- When looking at the games he played up to this point, he liked them all pretty equally, but the games with multiplayer had more playtime.
- Multiplayer makes a game very compelling, as they have competition, co-operation, friendships, community, and they are unique compared to other entertainment mediums.
- There are other types of entertainment that are older than games, such as reading, movies, TV, music, and sports.
- Movies and TV allow you to have a deeper emotional connection to the characters and story, as well as visualize things more vividly than books.
- Sports is the closest of the other mediums to multiplayer games. If you actually compete, it gives you a lot of the same elements, but most people are spectators and consider it an entertainment medium. People love to get invested in their teams and watch them play.
- Making multiplayer games is challenging, but it is worth it. Multiplayer makes games a unique medium compared to the others.
- Multiplayer may also be inevitable, as more and more of the world is coming online.
- The other games we play outside of digital games (board games, card games, drinking games) are almost all social games. In the gaming industry, it is the opposite, with most games not having multiplayer.
- Multiplayer games allow you to explore friendships
- Who can you depend on? - If someone gets awesome loot today, will they show up for the same boss tomorrow to help you?
- What are they good at? - If you are playing a game like League of Legends, what roles are your friends good at?
- Who picks you up when you are down? - When Pardo was playing Everquest, he teleported into a dungeon where he was instantly killed. This resulted in losing experience, his level up, and all of his stuff ended up on the ground. He ended up naked and unable to teleport back. His friends went to the dungeon with him and helped him get his gear back.
- Are they good winners / losers? - Is someone flipping the table just because you beat them in a game?
- Conversation during a shared activity - In some games, people log on just to chat with their guild. You can't do that at a music festival or during a movie.
- Meeting new friends or a spouse - A decent number of people meet their spouse or long time friends in a multiplayer game.
Future of Multiplayer
- Why aren't developers making more multiplayer games?
- Too Niche? - There are lots of multiplayer games in the list of top grossing games of all times. Players often play them for years, allowing them to be very lucrative for the people that make them.
- Too Expensive? - There is some truth to that, as those top grossing games often involve a lot of art resources. Adding multiplayer to games doesn't have to be expensive though. There are lots of smaller multiplayer games that are fun, interesting, and engaging.
- Too Hard? - Accommodating lots of players and how they interact in a multiplayer game does have some challenges.
- Networking and server code is hard, as is finding developers to work on it, as other big non-gaming companies want to hire those same people.
- You need a critical mass of players if you want to have matchmaking that works well.
- Game balance is also very important, as it enables your game to last for months or years.
- Adding multiplayer means more features, such as chat and friends.
- Watercooler Problem - You may meet someone that plays the same game as you and want to play together, but there are problems:
- Skill gap - One of the players might have been playing the game a lot longer, resulting in a big skill gap.
- Different levels - In an MMO, the players might not be the same level, resulting in gameplay that isn't fun for both players.
- Different progression - You may be at different points in the story or quest lines, meaning that you can't play together.
- Different servers - In games with multiple servers, you may not be on the same server as the other player.
- Some of these problems existed (and still exist) in WoW and other Blizzard games.
- Some games have solved these problems, such as Rock Band.
- Play with your kids - There aren't a lot of great games you can play with your kids right now.
- E-sports becoming more relevant - It may not be too long until e-sports are on ESPN and not ESPN2.
- Device agnostic games - Interaction with PC-based MMOs on your mobile device.
- Crossing national and language barriers - Gamers are worldwide and want to play together, especially in competitive games.
- Virtual Reality is coming
Ghostcrawler still occasionally talks about WoW. Remember that he no longer works for or speaks for Blizzard.
Guild Wars 2 - Economy and Legendary Weapons
Originally Posted by MMO-Champion
New post: Communicating with players is not the product. Really, ?
While I agree that changing policies may be startling, companies should be able to do so if they aren't working for them. (OccupyGStreet
You are also within your rights to claim that you preferred an old policy better of course. (OccupyGStreet
But B's traditional policy was one of limited discourse. I helped change that somewhat, but perhaps outside of their comfort zone. (OccupyGStreet
You admit yourself that technically the product is a game, not how developers interact with players about the game. (OccupyGStreet
yes, but is the naked software all of the "service package" an MMORPG offers? Plus I talk about expectations, set and ruined.
I do think you can argue that the entire player experience even outside of the "box" (lol) is part of the product. (OccupyGStreet
ArenaNet posted two new blog posts covering the economy and how legendary weapons will work in Heart of Thorns. In the economy blog, they note that dungeons will get a gold nerf to move the focus to raids and fractals, as that is the content they want to support. Some additional questions were answered on the forum
DLC #508 - Howling for You
has been released.