WoW is no longer an MMORPG. It is now a MMOAAG (Massively Multiplayer Online Action Adventure Game)
I see only one sentence of truth in the OPs copy/paste article:
Yes, some people will like a tedious MMO like described, but companies love to make profit and have as many people as possible enjoy their game. Purposely making a game that you know only 0,001% of the current MMO players will play, does not make money. Go play EQ or EVE Online if you want tedious.You’re not here to be popular
Who are these orthopedists going to be treating again? I suggest you actually read the original article before criticizing other people's comments on it.The once mighty Blizzard Entertainment has had to suffer the embarrassment of years of declining subscriptions to their once bloated cash cow World of Warcraft. Even one of their former developers rightly blamed them for the demise of the genre. Perhaps the release of the first WoW children’s book will turn things around for them.
I absolutely love this set of suggestions because it crops up about every 3 years or so and someone tries to make their half remembered through rose colored glasses version of Early EQ/Late UO/DAoC and then it bombs because well, we can go through it point by point.
1. Harsh Death Penalty and Corpse Runs
Death in a fantasy virtual world needs to have serious consequences. Without a tangible death penalty players will never respect your virtual world. Substantive loss such as experience and requiring players to retrieve their corpses is a basic requirement of bringing back that EverQuest magic. Without the possibility of loss, a virtual world becomes a safe amusement park. Let’s also not forget that a death penalty can be mitigated by player resurrections and corpse finding abilities given to special classes — both are class interdependence design elements that help to strengthen the community.
Failure is not bad; in fact it makes us better players. Pandering creates lazy and inept players. Sure, some players will hate a MMO company that brings back a harsh death penalty but that is the price of leadership. You’re not here to be popular; you’re here to make the very best virtual world! Uneasy lies head that wears the crown. Better to be hated by many, loved by a few and respected by all.
This first one is interesting. It immediately cuts to an interesting dilemma in that the only means of "punishing" a player for failure is by costing them time. Its just a question of how much. WoW tends to be somewhere in between 1-5 minutes of time. It takes a little bit to get back to your body, and a little bit to pay your repair bill. If you are in a raid group maybe even call it 10 minutes, since it can take some time to reassemble to try again. What he wants isn't a change, but instead just a greater cost of time, call it 1-5 hours if my hazy EQ memories are correct. The problem with this line of thinking is that every hour spent making up for a death is an hour spent not doing something else. 1-5 minutes is an annoyance, IME it is enough of one that people can learn from their mistakes, but my experience isn't his. What he is suggesting could teach players caution, or it could just piss them off. It certainly would err toward the latter if he expects content to be hard since you can only really learn by doing in a MMO.
2. Grouping Must be Encouraged and Soloing Must be Discouraged.
There is no way around the fundamental requirement that at it’s core a fantasy MMORPG should to encourage and promote that players form groups and experience the world together. SOE should reward groups of 2, 3, 4 and more players that band together and give them a synergistic advantage based on complementary class abilities. Grouping creates community. Soloing destroys community.
Needing to group also creates a much better community and better players. Players who behave like idiots soon find out that their reputation will precede them and they won’t get groups. Without groups, they can’t progress. Little Johnny learns a lesson that he has to behave considerately or he will never get a group.
Allowing easy soloing to the level cap will simply not work and will trivialize the entire world. Players already have scores of MMOs and video games they can play if they are looking for a single player video game. Be bold SOE. Do not give in!
This is kind of meaningless truism when talking about MMOs, since even a solo player is interacting with other people CONSTANTLY if your ecosystem is healthy. Assuming they aren't always alone in their zone, only using vendors and other npcs for all their economic interaction, and completely unaffiliated with any sort of guild or faction, then they are affecting other players, knowingly or not. What he actually should have said based on what he is advocating is "group play should be encouraged, play without a group should be punished." Again this is not new, WoW already does this to a degree. When in a group with friends or strangers you get synergistic buffs, you can tackle harder content, and lately they've removed a lot of the penalties that used to come with it (most bear asses are flagged as lootable by everyone now). WoW could certainly stand to reward group play more, but its taking steps. Punishing play without a group is a lot trickier though. Right now it is almost impossible to have a single player experience on WoW. CRZ has made it hard to be the only person in a zone, and being in a guild and using the Auctionhouse are both such huge carrots that interaction with others is almost mandatory. But its subtle, and there are layers of abstraction. He complains that assholes can thrive if they can play on their own, and that their bad reputations won't shut them out of interaction with other players, but with sufficient abstraction a players bad behavior can be rendered meaningless. If a player wants to offer bad deals on trades, for example, to get ahead there are two means of recourse. One is hoping that through word of mouth he gets a bad name and people don't want to trade with him, the other is by creating a system for trades that is open and transparent and encouraging its use (the Auction House). WoW often favors the latter for better or worse.
3. Stop the Hero Crap
I think at this point the MMO community is really sick and tired of being spoon fed false praise and constantly told we are HEROES. It’s insulting to our intelligence. EQ Next devs need to focus on the we instead of the me. WoW style quests are a big part of the problem here as they continually force feed players the hero self-esteem mantra. People already get enough bogus self-esteem from parents, teachers and politicians. Telling players they are special breeds self-centered players instead of community-centered players. True heroism is its own reward and a real hero doesn’t require a Flaming Sword of Doom for killing 10 rats.
This point right here, and several others that follow, is ultimately the core of his argument. Its also a horribly flawed core that doesn't last, we'll talk about the real reasons why in a fiew points. For now just read what he is saying and note that his only use of the term "we" or "our" is only when he is praising his own intelligence, projecting his view on everyone, or saying that they need to do what he wants for everyone. THIS WILL BE IMPORTANT LATER.
4. Let Players Form their Own Memories and Make their Own Stories
With WoW, the story became the focal point. The quest designers and storytellers dictated how players should act. Players were herded into an episodic narrative that has no deviation and only one outcome. Players became puppets that blindly went from golden question mark to golden question mark doing the bidding of the quest designer.
Force feeding players stories and that are not their own and instead driving them into the box of contrived narratives is a recipe for disaster and erodes the cooperative spirit which is the bedrock of creating a good community. This is what Blizzard has been doing for years and they have the worst player community in MMO history to show for it.
I can think of about 4 quests that WoW has spoon-fed me story from that I remember really fondly, he has a point that many people don't want an episodic narrative. But he then shackles it into a false dilemma by saying that narrative prevents people from forming their own stories and memories. This is objectively wrong. Ask anyone who has played WoW for a while and they will have tons of stories from their experiences that have shaped their vies on the game and made them keep coming back to it. Many of those stories will be of failures and gameplay the devs never intended, and thats OK. I've only ever once seen a MMO that actively interfered with people doing this, and it was, ironically enough, UO. The design philosophy in UO actively prevented you from making many of your own stories because you were in a zero sum game with other players for the things you needed to make your memory. More about zero sum games later. Please note again that he doesn't group himself with any of the "puppets" he is criticizing. This is important.
5. Quests Should Be Rare and Special
EverQuest had precious few quests and the ones that did exist actually meant something. Just surviving the harsh world was reward enough. Rarely were there WoW style “to do lists” WoW that distracted players. Nothing will kill EQ Next faster than if SOE inundates players with endless tutorials and quests. Solo quests kill community! Quests have become their own form of transactional grinding in most MMOs that copied WoW.
If there have to be quests, then don’t make obtaining them easy; make players work hard for them by allowing extensive and meaningful two-way conversations with NPCs. With the integration of Storybricks technology hopefully there will be significant opportunity for this to happen.
Also, put expiry times on quests. Give special quests for groups only. Quests should make sense and have a legitimate reason for being completed. If Farmer Brown needs a bucket of water then don’t give thousands of other players the same quest. Make tasks applicable to the NPCs and to the immediate situation around them. If a dragon is burning down the village, don’t allow an NPC to give a quest that has the player going out to collect flowers in the fields.
6. No Instancing
If I were to blame one single feature for the devastation of the MMO genre it would be instancing. Instancing has been a cancer for MMOs. It’s a design cop out. Nothing has destroyed community and the sense of immersion more than the scourge of instancing. Instancing is an abomination to the notion of status. Instancing is a form of virtual world socialism where everyone is entitled to the same content. Instancing creates a sense of entitlement within players.
You can’t have Lord Nagafen — the famous Norrathian dragon — being simultaneously killed hundreds of times each night and thousands of times each week and expect that to not erode the sense of accomplishment for killing a dragon. Instancing is really a virtual world within a virtual world. Instancing is responsible for a host of evils in MMORPGs: it separates players from each other, it creates barriers, it impedes freedom, it devalues achievements and status, it encourages farming and creates a glut of loot. Community dungeons MUST be brought back into EQ Next!
7. Player Drama and Conflict is Good **
Both Blizzard and SOE, with WoW and EQ2 fell into the philosophical trap that held that eliminating player conflict was a good thing in a virtual world. They foolishly believed that when players disagree and fight over various things like contested spawns and resources, kill stealing, and trains that it was a bad thing and the game needed to have built in anti-exploit/anti-conflict mechanics built in to stop it. This had the unintended consequences of sanitizing the MMO and treating players like prisoners by taking away their freedoms. As this MMO design malpractice continued, suddenly trains stopped as mobs were put on leashes. You could no longer attack a guard or member of your own faction.
How a MMO studio can promote a rich fantasy world full of drama and conflict on one hand but be against it within the ranks of your playerbase on the other hand is mind-boggling. Emergent gameplay is all about letting the players work it out on their own. Freedom should be promoted instead of curtailed. Players should be allowed to police themselves. Instead of banning griefers, turn them into outlaws. Prevent them from entering cities and banking. Put bounties on their heads that law abiding players can claim.
Allowing conflict will require more GMs but it’s worth it. I want to be part of a world where there is drama and intrigue going on with players. After all this is supposed to be a massively multiplayer online role-playing game not a supervised day care center.
I am going to address all three of these at once, because they are actually the same point they are pretty much the rotten core of his argument. Overall most MMOs are not zero sum games (for anyone unfamiliar with the term, a zero sum game means there is a winner and a loser, one person must not get "a thing" for the other to get "a thing"). Overall in MMOs, The more people participate, the more people get cool experiences. But within MMOs most individual interactions and experiences are zero sum, for me to kill this boss means someone else will not get to (at least until it respawns), for me to win this piece of loot means someone else will not. The core of his argument rests upon the idea that Zero Sum experiences ultimately make the game better because it feels better to win when someone else has lost. He thinks this way because he is sure that he will be a winner. Think back to when I asked you to make note of his lack of self inclusion into certain groups. He says he doesn't want everyone to have epic questlines and everyone to be big damn heros, but then he still talks about making sure that there are big world bosses that are shaping and destroying the world, that can only be killed once. He says he doesn't want to see "virtual socialism" because that means that someone didn't lose. Its a common mindset among investment bankers and sociopaths, that the only true measure of success is how well off you are compared to your peers, its not enough for you to be succeeding, others must be failing or you cannot feel good.
The problem with his argument, and the problem with the older school of MMO design that fell into it (and it did so accidentally in many ways, Lord British wanted UO to be a cooperative utopia, it became some sort of megaslime corporation cyberpunk nightmare with more dragons), is that when you have a zero sum game where the best way to win is to be there first and longest (which he has been advocating throughout his points, costing players more time on death to catch up, not allowing people to catch up alone), new players come in at a disadvantage that gets harder to overcome with each additional player. In effect, they cap their own subscriber base and wreck their own chances of financial success. Blizzard in many ways stumbled upon this by accident when they started WoW (since WoW really started as "everquest with less bullshit"), but every MMO since can and should be taking notes.
8. No Easy Travel
Nothing makes a world smaller than providing fast means of travel. This is true for the real world as it is true for virtual worlds. Easy travel trivializes all of the hard work that environment artists and world builders and designers put into all of the zones.
Fast travel should only be made available to players via special classes such as wizard and druids. This has the wonderful side-effect of promoting class worth and class interdependence. Another benefit was that players would congregate around druid rings and wizard portals areas in hopes of getting ports. Travel buffs such as the Spirit of Wolf should only be available from select classes as well. Again this encourages class interdependence.
Absolutely no flying mounts for players either. Insta-portals such as the ones that the original EQ had in the Plane of Knowledge were a disaster and made Norrath into a joke. Mounts should only be available at the highest of levels.
I know he intends this as yet another "arrgh it should cost more time" but I am kind of onboard. I actually like the fact that, say, Pandaria, doesn't let you fly in it until you've done it. That's a fun way to keep the world feeling big. I think there is something to be said for having fast travel over the long term, but he may have accidenta;;y had a point here.
Learning the Lessons from the Present is the funniest section because it is something he obviously hasn't and will not do.
It has been over a year since MoP released. 2 million subs have been lost in that time. Next xpac will drawn in upwards of a million, only to lose another 2million the next year. so 6.6 million at the start of the next xpac.
WoW is no longer an MMORPG. It is now a MMOAAG (Massively Multiplayer Online Action Adventure Game)
You know what is tedious? Doing the same thing day after day as prescribed and directed. Being led by a harness and spoon fed, thats pretty tedious.
Is this not tedious?:
do 5 mans ive done countless times
Raid same boss
Repeat along with 7.7 million others doing the exact same thing for the exact same reward
Nothing changes that schedule, nothing happens
How is that not tedious? You affect NOTHING in game.
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I find the game way less tedious than the horrible ideas you're trying to feed us in your OP.
I've gotten burned out on WoW a few times. I quit and did something else or went to play another game. Then when I felt like it, I started up WoW again. That's what normal people do.
1. agree that we need harsher death penalty but not the long corpse run. challenge is good but meaninglessly wasting players time is not good.
2. completely agree with this point. need more epic non-solo able quests to encourage player grouping.
3. Do not agree at all. i like story and i love how WoW tells their story in game. even though many people didn't like thrall as protagonist in cata but we must agree that story telling was awesome.
4. i will agree with this one. what made WC3 so successful? the Warcaft editor. hell people even made a brand new game(DoTA) out of the editor. blizz should give us something like that in WoW too.
5.No NO NO!! no more mindless mob grinding. horrible idea. i feel irritated just doing the kill count quests and now you are asking to remove all kind of quests and mindlessly just kill rats? hell no!!!
6. Nope, another bad idea. i remember the good old days of EQ, 10 hours guild camping for boss spawn and when it does spawn someone comes and stands there like statue, but as soon as the boss gets to very low HP that person uses his most powerful attack to kill the boss and get all the loot. no way i want this in WoW.
7. Do not agree. read my number 6.
8. Do not agree. this will only serve the purpose of very few players who will be playing mage or warlock with teleportation spells. we are playing a fantasy game and teleportaion npc or travel through flying mount is too much to ask? what kind of fantasy world is that?
Overall, some ideas are great, i want challenge in my game but wasting time to make a player play the game more and spend more money is ridiculous.
"Why do we fight? to protect home and family, to preserve balance and bring harmony. For my kind the true question is : what is worth fighting for?"
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At my local bowling alley, for example, they put up gutter guards for kids who are 7 and under. If you look older than that and you ask for them you get turned down. By your logic, however, the pro bowlers should be given gutter guards and even have access to special lanes with grooves leading straight to the lead pin because they "earned" them by bowling a perfect score. That's laughable, but when "hardcore" players argue that they are "earning" set bonuses that jack their above-average DPS to astronomical heights no one seems to bat an eye. Am I the only one seeing the disparity here?
To make matters worse, some (very few, actually) of these players then turn around and whine whine whine about how they're carrying everyone else through LFR because they're pulling 3 times the DPS as the guy who is still decked out in greens and blues. Well, I wonder why that is.
I can agree that there is an entitlement problem, but I don't think it's nearly as prevalent as you're making it out to be, and I don't think it's at the same end of the spectrum as you believe.
Last edited by Ronduwil; 2013-08-01 at 08:16 PM.
Yeah, you might not like it obviously (my opinion) but I would like to believe this site lets users have an opinion. From your statement, WoW is perfect, I disagree and actually would hope you are ok with someone having the right to disagree here.
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