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Default Issues with modern MMOs

September 9th, 2011, 21:34
MMOs are trying to break out of the questgrind trap in a few ways… the 3 biggest ones off the top of my head:

1. PQs and other 'event'-like quests. Rift has a decent implementation of this with the semi-random invasions and other stuff like that. The problem here is that the pool of events is limited, and ultimately it'll just be a zergfest.

2. Scalable/scaling content. This actually isn't new — Anarchy Online had it way-back-when. You can set a difficulty slider and/or scale the # / difficulty of enemies by your group size and such. This is very hard to get right with typical 'diku' MMOGs ('diku' refers to the dikuMUDs of the '80s), but works fine for games where character progression is easier to quantify automatically (COH, GW).

3. Player-made content. This is a big one, and a lot of games seem to be adding this 'silently'. It isn't strictly new, since you could tell your stories in Ultima Online and SWG fine (or in other games too, if you wanted to work around the restrictions). I remember my guild hosting murder mystery events, theatre shows, and even pen-and-paperesque adventures in SWG, using player housing / city features and world features / dungeons creatively. In modern games you actually have fairly robust development tools at your disposal. My personal favorite implementation is COH's Mission Architect: I've played lots of great stories and created quite a few story arcs of my own (some of which even won awards… look for @Zaphir /shameless_plug). SWG had an interesting twist with the Storyteller and Chronicler systems that made player-created content even better, but that game's riding into the sunset in a few months. Ryzom basically gave the players area/quest-making dev tools. STO has the Foundry where you can make holodeck missions. EQ2 is coming out with a feature where you can build your own dungeon for others to play through. Etc. Of course the biggest caveat here is Sturgeon's Law… but that's not too big of a problem with a good community and/or search interface.

Game-wise, Guild Wars 2 is the game I'm looking forward to most, since it looks to innovate in so many areas (so did Guild Wars 1, though it suffered for its UI and control scheme). SWTOR doesn't look like it'll break the mold; if anything, they're moving more towards single-player CRPGy storytelling.

That's my 2 HUF anyway.
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October 2nd, 2011, 22:14
I'd have to say the biggest flaw with most MMO games these days is the fact that killing monsters is generally a waste of time due to the fact that it usually takes thousands of monsters to level up when doing a crappy go and get five common items for almost half the experience needed to reach your next level up takes about 10 minutes at most.
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December 31st, 2011, 18:51
Any one tried Haven & Hearth ? I am thinking to try it out since it mentions something about permanent death of your character in a sandbox world that remains affected be actions of players. Wich reminds me of my favorite map mode for warcraft III called: Jungle Trolls Reborn
Last edited by Igor; December 31st, 2011 at 19:06.
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December 31st, 2011, 22:15
Originally Posted by Zetor View Post
3. Player-made content. This is a big one, and a lot of games seem to be adding this 'silently'. It isn't strictly new, since you could tell your stories in Ultima Online and SWG fine (or in other games too, if you wanted to work around the restrictions).
I have played Morrowind for a VERY long time because of the mods and I was always wondering why so few MMOs allowed user-made content. The answer I was getting most often was: you give players the means and some will create content and others will create exploits. Now, I am not is a position to judge how true this answer was but I thought that what you get in return might be worth the risk…
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