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  1. #1

    Former WoW team lead Mark Kern - MMO's have become too easy

    Full article:

    http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/7540

    His basic overall premise is that the desire for "accessibilty" promoted everything being presented and consumed faster and faster and ultimately the world gets lost. An MMO is supposed to be about the journey as much as anything, and that the immersion in a world has been lost in favor of shuffling people along faster.

    Sometimes I look at WoW and think “what have we done?” I think I know. I think we killed a genre.
    Unfortunately at the end of the article he goes into a sort of commercial for his latest project, which a lot of people will focus on, but I think his points are what a lot of posters here have been saying.

  2. #2
    MMOs didn't really come too easy, they just shifted far too much into theme park territory at the expense of immersive, cohensive world where you can carve a name of yourself and rather just are "part" of the pre-determined story arc.
    Modern gaming apologist: I once tasted diarrhea so shit is fine.

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Zaqwert View Post
    Full article:

    http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/7540

    His basic overall premise is that the desire for "accessibilty" promoted everything being presented and consumed faster and faster and ultimately the world gets lost. An MMO is supposed to be about the journey as much as anything, and that the immersion in a world has been lost in favor of shuffling people along faster.



    Unfortunately at the end of the article he goes into a sort of commercial for his latest project, which a lot of people will focus on, but I think his points are what a lot of posters here have been saying.
    Well, he's a bit biased

    And to your last line -- forum posters are a fraction of a fraction of the population. Even if every single poster on mmo-c agreed (they don't) with these sentiments, that's still an overwhelming minority of the overall WoW population.

    What are these other games that aren't accessible, and why don't they have the subscriber rates WoW does ?

  4. #4
    Herald of the Titans CosmicGuitars's Avatar
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    This isn't the first time, and it won't be the last time that companies try to market their game towards the disgruntled Ex-WoW player.

    I don't think that WoW is too easy. It's lowered the lower-end bar to allow for more players to access the content, but the high-end content is as hard as ever.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by CosmicGuitars View Post
    I don't think that WoW is too easy. It's lowered the lower-end bar to allow for more players to access the content, but the high-end content is as hard as ever.
    I LOVE this line and have stated this sentiment over and over and over.

    Commented a ton on the article already on Massively, but what Kern's saying is complete BS. Might as well just outright state "yeah, fuck casuals, they ruined my precious genre."

    AND it's hilarious that apparently the genre of MMORPG has a difficulty requirement. Nope, you can't have an easy MMO and a hard MMO, if you want to be in the MMO genre you have to be hard!

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Count Zero View Post
    Well, he's a bit biased

    And to your last line -- forum posters are a fraction of a fraction of the population. Even if every single poster on mmo-c agreed (they don't) with these sentiments, that's still an overwhelming minority of the overall WoW population.

    What are these other games that aren't accessible, and why don't they have the subscriber rates WoW does ?
    If I had a nickel for every time an MMO-champ forum poster brought up WoW's sub count.... I'd have bought out Microsoft and Apple and STILL have enough left over to construct my own personal "applesoft" micro island out in the middle of the pacific ocean.

  7. #7
    I don't think he is trying to advertise his current project in the way that you think, I think he was just using it as an example. If you read his other 2 articles he hardly mentions his current project and even gushes about how much he likes the quest system in GW2. His articles seem more like talking about MMOs and less about trying to bash WoW or advertise his game IMO.

  8. #8
    It sounds like he is saying the leveling up is too easy and thinks quality of life additions like quest trackers were a mistake. Maybe I am in the minority here, but when I am leveling up on an MMO I don't want to spend hundreds of hours getting to the max. I play for the end game, not the leveling experience.

  9. #9
    I agree with most of what he said, however I try still play Wow as he believes it should be and it IS somewhat possible, although shortlived. I care more about "the journey" than endgame and to some extent I still manage to accomplish that in Wow, so it's really down to how you choose to play the game. Though it IS really short and a bit hollow to be honest. I wish there were more emphasis on the lower level experiences.

    Quote Originally Posted by Azalis View Post
    It sounds like he is saying the leveling up is too easy and thinks quality of life additions like quest trackers were a mistake. Maybe I am in the minority here, but when I am leveling up on an MMO I don't want to spend hundreds of hours getting to the max. I play for the end game, not the leveling experience.
    That's the problem he's talking about. He's saying "the journey" (levelling) should be just as compelling as the endgame and people should want to enjoy the world itself instead of rushing to max level. But as you demonstrated most people do not agree with that philosophy, so games are designed for people with your mentality instead.

    He's saying low level should be just as special and important as max level.
    Last edited by Netherspark; 2013-06-30 at 10:14 PM.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by CosmicGuitars View Post
    This isn't the first time, and it won't be the last time that companies try to market their game towards the disgruntled Ex-WoW player.

    I don't think that WoW is too easy. It's lowered the lower-end bar to allow for more players to access the content, but the high-end content is as hard as ever.
    but that is the problem the article was pointing to; because it doesnt matter how hard or how good the endgame is, if you have to wade through 90 levels of simplistic shite to get there. there is SO much focus on endgame in WoW now, that the whole process of levelling suffers as a result.

    which is why the subs are suffering as a result. people are still leaving, as they always did, but there is nothing about the game today that will drag new players in. can you imagine playing the first 20 levels for free, then thinking "sure, let me pay over $60 for all the boxes, then set up a sub for $15 a month. this gameplay is worth every cent". i dont think so.
    When challenging a Kzin, a simple scream of rage is sufficient. You scream and you leap.

    The volume of new game features and content in MoP is a direct consequence of people cancelling subscriptions during Cataclysm. You're welcome.

  11. #11
    Focus on the journey etc etc, It just sounds exactly like SWTOR and how the leveling experience will never be the same with another class it will make the game the best the world have seen, heard it before as they say. Leveling is boredom and it is in no way shape or form something i consider vital to a mmo game.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by mickybrighteyes View Post
    If I had a nickel for every time an MMO-champ forum poster brought up WoW's sub count.... I'd have bought out Microsoft and Apple and STILL have enough left over to construct my own personal "applesoft" micro island out in the middle of the pacific ocean.
    So what's a better metric to measure by ?

  13. #13
    Just because a lot of people frequent something doesn't mean it's all that great...

    look at walmart and mcdonalds.

    You wouldn't really call them the best department store and restaurant would you?

    WoW's got the most subs... hell it brought in the most players to the genre (which was near non-existent relative to today's standard). But to keep using sub count as a justification as to why it's the best game around has seemed silly to me since back before Cata dropped.

  14. #14
    Elemental Lord Kaleredar's Avatar
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    Players wanted a "quick" journey, Blizzard supplied avenues for that.

    People want Blizzard to definitively say "THIS is the way the MMO is going to be" and then just have everyone mesh along with it and turn into whatever player the "MMO requires." That obviously is not the case. That wasn't the case in the start of Cataclysm, now was it? And moreover, those players want Blizzard to say it... but they want the decision Blizzard makes to be based on what they the player says needs to be done.


    The problem right now, in my mind, is not that "content is too easy for casuals." If casuals want to do easy content, more power to them. No other player has a right to say that's "not the way you should be playing the game." No, my point of contention with PvE is that either there is easy casual content; easy heroic dungeons and LFR, OR challenging dedicated content: normal and heroic raids. There is no modicum for "difficult casual content" any longer; nothing that requires an iota of brain dedication beyond Brawlers guild, which becomes gear-dependent on later bosses, and Challenge modes, which require you to have a dedicated group if you want to do them expeditiously, and NEITHER of those channels offer gear progression.
    "Do not look down, my friend. Even in the darkest of times, there is always hope... Hope for a better day, hope for a new dawn... Or just hope for a good breakfast. You start small, then see what you can get." ~ Covetous Shen
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    Kaleredar is right...
    Words to live by.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by araine View Post
    Focus on the journey etc etc, It just sounds exactly like SWTOR and how the leveling experience will never be the same with another class it will make the game the best the world have seen, heard it before as they say. Leveling is boredom and it is in no way shape or form something i consider vital to a mmo game.
    You can't show me a successful MMO (much less enough to constitute disputing the vital nature of leveling) that does not include leveling. It is not only vital for success but part of the genre.

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  16. #16
    Herald of the Titans Aqua's Avatar
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    The only thing that's really been changed is like someone said above, the lower bar has been lowered further.

    Right now its a bit of a struggle to make the Low end and High end bar scale in a way that's smooth and allow for a player to keep walking up it without it seeming like mount Everest. I'll admit the leveling experience.... is a bit simple and fast paced now. I used to like that it could feel like a long long journey to the max level... It should feel that way to a new player, and most just charge through it in a few days. That...I find damaging.

    But for the most part this is ass talking. Dude is wearing nostalgia goggles on so hard you could call them implants. I think he needs a good few rounds of Super Meat boy or Kaiso Mario get all that pent up desire for punishment out of his system. Because challenge is still there, it's just not a very smooth ride up into it at this current point in time.
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by mickybrighteyes View Post
    Just because a lot of people frequent something doesn't mean it's all that great...

    look at walmart and mcdonalds.

    You wouldn't really call them the best department store and restaurant would you?

    WoW's got the most subs... hell it brought in the most players to the genre (which was near non-existent relative to today's standard). But to keep using sub count as a justification as to why it's the best game around has seemed silly to me since back before Cata dropped.
    Anyone that has ran with the normal player base knows just how horrible they are so content has to be easy for them to do anything.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Huehuecoyotl View Post
    but that is the problem the article was pointing to; because it doesnt matter how hard or how good the endgame is, if you have to wade through 90 levels of simplistic shite to get there. there is SO much focus on endgame in WoW now, that the whole process of levelling suffers as a result.

    which is why the subs are suffering as a result. people are still leaving, as they always did, but there is nothing about the game today that will drag new players in. can you imagine playing the first 20 levels for free, then thinking "sure, let me pay over $60 for all the boxes, then set up a sub for $15 a month. this gameplay is worth every cent". i dont think so.
    This ignores way too much. Every subscription-based MMO is suffering since like 2009.

    And, to be realistic, the gameplay while leveling is as good or better than it's ever been. Questions of immersion and story are legit and worth exploring, but purely as far as smoothness of gameplay and the questing experience, it's never been better. Whether, again, story/world immersion has taken a hit as a result, I think it's pretty clear it has, and I do agree there is perhaps too little focus on the leveling experience in favor of smoothness/ease ... but, even saying this, I realize I'm someone whose alts have full heirlooms, and that I have the benefit of knowing people at max level of every class/spec that I can ask for tips on how to play. There's no turning off the switch on what I already know about the game. For someone brand new to WoW and particularly to MMOs in general, it's a completely different story.

    I think in general it's just too late to put the genie back in the bottle. Blizz ate a ton of hate for the focus on leveling content in Cataclysm. They just can't win -- everything they do will be heavily criticized. People complained about the time it took to hit max level in MoP so much that they nerfed it, what, about halfway through the xpac ? Correct me if I'm wrong but isn't that an earlier nerf to leveling than any other xpac experienced ? I thought those only happened either at the end or even after it was current content.

  19. #19
    I think his article title is misleading. The bulk of his article isn't about difficulty so much as speed.

    His main point seems to be players are shuffled through content too fast to actually appreciate it.

    The article isn't so much about the game being easy but that it's just streamlined to the point you can do everything there is to do in it super quickly.

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by mickybrighteyes View Post
    Just because a lot of people frequent something doesn't mean it's all that great...

    look at walmart and mcdonalds.

    You wouldn't really call them the best department store and restaurant would you?

    WoW's got the most subs... hell it brought in the most players to the genre (which was near non-existent relative to today's standard). But to keep using sub count as a justification as to why it's the best game around has seemed silly to me since back before Cata dropped.
    At a certain point you're measuring different things, which is why I asked to provide a metric by which to measure, if not sub count. I don't think anyone would call McDonald's the best restaurant, but it's not trying to be the best restaurant. Maybe it's trying to be the best fast-food restaurant, and maybe it is.

    I see WoW first and foremost as two things, depending on perspective: for the consumer, it's a videogame. Not an MMO, not an RPG, not an MMORPG -- just a videogame, the point of which is to have fun. More people think it's worth their 15 bucks a month than any other sub-based game. For the developers, it's a product -- their success is measured in profit -- profits they wouldn't make if consumers didn't think it was worth the price.

    I'm not being sarcastic when I say to provide me with a different metric to measure by. I'm asking you to make your argument and defend it.

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