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Theory: players don't know what they want


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#21 lmbarns   Members   -  Reputation: 458

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 09:45 AM

Darkfall had slow travel with the exception of single use runestones that weren't cheap (thousands of gold), and took about 10 minutes to mark while making a loud humming sound other players could hear from miles away lol. It was pretty stressful when your recall bar was 95% done and you saw people running towards you off in the distance and you barely get away with under a second to spare. Lots of times they'd disrupt you from a distance and you'd have to fight or run.

The other thing in Darkfall, when you died in a fight, you were taken back to your bind location, which could be 30+ minutes away from the fight, so it was much different than in UO where you turned to a ghost and your team could resurrect you, re-equip you and you're back in the battle. In DF, when your teammates got picked off your team shrank. The sieges were epic, hundreds vs. hundreds in these intense battles for territory control.

The only time I like slow transport, is when there are real trade routes and regional banking. Otherwise it's a complete drain. But if you have to caravan supplies across the actual map, and fight off badguys, that can be fun to do as a guild, clan, group, whatever.

UO started where you had to carry the rune and have regs to recall or mark it, but no limit to rune stones and they cost like 15g. This was my favorite phase. When you died, you had to go remark the rune if you hadn't marked some backups beforehand. Eventually they made blessed books that held runes so you could carry hundreds of locations. It still wasn't terrible because they put a cooldown so you couldn't recall out of a fight instantly, you had to unflag for 90 seconds or something.

Darkfalls ship combat was hands down best gameplay dynamic on a computer ever. Here's one where we lost our ship to another clan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=olKjZ6bvoAY&list=UUuPUwB98LX-ir9PKx1aN6Mw&index=33&feature=plcp

And here we lost our ship to the damn kraken killing it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZcPv0aNNi8&list=UUuPUwB98LX-ir9PKx1aN6Mw&index=59&feature=plcp @ 2:22

If they would have built out the depth the way UO was this would be the most amazing game ever, but instead it was grind fest mixed with player hacking that went on for over a year unchecked and numerous other critical flaws.

Sucks cause it was an indie game started by a gamer, 35 people built an mmo over 7 years....strangled for cash, they couldn't get the level of polish you get from the big boys.

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#22 J03_b   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:25 PM

This is why conveniences are needed to make it easier for players to get into a game. To many players, "long traveling time" is equivalent to the big downsides that stopped you from getting into EVE.

When I last played EVE about a year ago, I remember the extremely long time it takes to travel from place to place. My friend and I wanted to meet up in-game and it took us more than 30 minutes just to do so.



Actually you don't even get the conveniences in WoW until you explore each area on foot, level up enough and buy your mounts, etc, so it has nothing to do with getting into the game. And also, if you start at different starting areas on different factions, no duh its going to take you a long time to meet up. But after that, you don't really need to do a lot of long traveling in eve, just like 5-10 minutes max for some missions which you don't even have to accept. So I don't really know what you're talking about there, unless you are over exaggerating again


I don't see why this is "bad". If the intent of the game designer was to make a dungeon/BG/raid/arena/RBG/crafting/trading game, why stop players from playing the game by making them travel?

For example, if I make a game about dungeons, I would certainly let players instantly teleport to the entrance of each dungeons, instead of having to waste time traveling to them.



Well I already explained my opinion about why that is bad(my opinion). It's bad because I like the style of game where there is a lot of importance in traveling and a strong emphasis on world pvp. WoW used to be like that, until the devs changed it by adding conveniences. Just to be clear I also like doing dungeons, BGs, etc, and I think they worked perfectly together with the experience of traveling and doing stuff on the way, like gathering, world pvp, quests, etc. I hate that they eliminated an experience for the long time dedicated fans in order to attract new players who won't play for a fraction of the time. I said that in my previous posts, and I understand your opinion, but I just wish the devs wouldn't cater to players like you when they've already got so many players like me


If the activity is so fun, why are we stopping players from doing it via traveling?



You aren't doing anything wrong, don't get the wrong idea. The devs are responsible, regardless of what players asked for

But for one, we can still travel if we want, but it's no longer efficient or effective. Now with flying mounts, teleporting, etc, there is basically no more world pvp which blows, and everything else you can do instantly. And if you don't, you'll be left behind by everyone else (particularly players like you).

#23 J03_b   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 07 April 2012 - 03:54 PM

@Imbarns

Yeah that does look like a lot of fun. Videos like that are the reason that I started playing it in the first place. It's just a shame it took so long to get into the pvp

#24 Sir Demon   Members   -  Reputation: 104

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:20 AM

I said that in my previous posts, and I understand your opinion, but I just wish the devs wouldn't cater to players like you when they've already got so many players like me


So now you're not arguing anymore that players don't know what they want, just that they want different things than you?

I somewhat agree with the notion that players often don't understand that what they are asking would actually be detrimental to the game, but it seems this thread has now derailed to discuss something else.

#25 HNikolas   Members   -  Reputation: 192

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 09:28 AM

Players Do Not Know What They Want, but They Know When It Is Missing

One of the biggest mistakes a designer can make at the start of development is to have a focus group with a bunch of gamers and ask them what they want to see in a new game. One could see this as an argument against focus groups, but that is not quite the point. Having playtesters is a very important part of game development. By playtesters, I mean people looking not for bugs in your game, but rather analyzing the gameplay and providing constructive feedback about it. A designer should have lots of people playing his game once it is at a stage in development where a majority of the gameplay can be judged. This may include using focus groups to obtain invaluable feedback about where the game is too challenging or confusing, but only once the game is ready for them to play.

On the other hand, having a focus group of gamers before a game has been created just to “bounce ideas around” is pretty much useless. Gamers are good, of course, at judging whether a game they are playing is any fun or not. They may not be able to explain in a useful way what exactly they like or dislike about a particular game, but they certainly know when they are having a good time, whether they are having their fantasies fulfilled, whether they are being appropriately challenged, or if a game gets them excited. When the game is failing to be any fun at all, gamers will be able to point that out to you but relatively few will be able to tell you what to do in order to fix the problem. Furthermore, just because gamers enjoy a wide range of finished games does not mean they are qualified to critique raw game ideas. Similarly, game ideas they come up with are not certain to be good ones. It is the rare person who can discuss the idea of a computer game and determine if is likely the final game will be fun or not. People with these skills are those best suited to become game designers. Not all game players have these skills, so when asked what sort of game they might be interested in playing, gamers may not really know what they want. But, as I say, they will be sure to tell you when it is missing from the final product.

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#26 J03_b   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 08 April 2012 - 07:27 PM

So now you're not arguing anymore that players don't know what they want, just that they want different things than you?



When were we ever arguing about players not knowing what they want? And when were we even arguing? I'm just responding to comments on my posts and explaining what I meant because he seemed confused. Also, do you have anything useful and on-topic to contribute?

#27 Stormynature   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2557

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Posted 09 April 2012 - 12:54 AM

With respect to the title of the thread I think it would be more accurate to say that the vast majority of players "know what they want". Herein is where the problem lies - each player will have their own opinion as to things they like and don't like about the game. Give them a public forum and the ability to post about what they want (or don't want) and they will find like-minded individuals as well naysayers to their posts.

Now sometimes an argument (point) that is arisen through these threads can be extra-ordinarily helpful to the game developers and a patch will be implemented into the game enhancing the game. Sometimes the arguments made will be egregiously stupid. The hard part for the game developer is learning to determine the value of those arguments put forward; that on the surface hold a validity that would enhance game play but will, if implemented, contribute to an overall decline in the "game experience". This is not so simple to do especially in MMO's where evolution of the game model takes place in conjunction with the game being actively played, also a poor implementation of a good idea can also lead to battering of reputation eg: the introduction of voice communication in WoW.

The problem is, as a business entity you do actively search for customer feedback as you want to maintain existing clients as well attract new clients. This means that the forums filled with so many players "knowing" what they want effectively become lobby groups and ideas that shouldn't necessarily see the light of day will get adopted despite every sane person going NOOOO!. But it should also be noted that occasionally suggestions that on every interpretation might seem ridiculously stupid can turn out to be game enhancers whereas other ideas that seem to adress existing issues with a good fix turn out to be detrimental.

Using WoW as an example in keeping with previous posts, There is no doubt that WoW has introduced (as a result of feedback) a lot of things to enhance the game experience as well things that turned out to be less effective or even detrimental, there is also no doubt to some of the older peoples that many positive aspects of DAoC and Everquest were adopted into WoW. Introducing new ideas is not easy, you can sit there and think that you have thought of everything to make a brilliant coup de tat with your change and then suddenly realise RealID or the introduction of new modding policies has in fact burnt your player community into a fiery rage. The fact that players "know what they want" and indeed "know what they don't want" is not just limited to them, game developers also have similar issues. Faced with feature creep can be one sign of a minor disaster in the making.

At the end of the day you want to make a game that is successful (somewhat an assumption I know), that people will like to play, and that will bring a certain amount of recompense to your company or person. This means when you have a game idea you might ask around for feedback, suggestions, etc. The hardest part of all is finding that middle ground where you bring your game design into a real form that is in keeping with your idea and incorporating helpful feedback that contributes to a well-designed game.

So at the end of the day -- Players know what they want, and sometimes what they want is valid and many times what they want is not.

#28 J03_b   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 03:07 AM

yeah

#29 Zethariel   Members   -  Reputation: 310

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Posted 10 April 2012 - 04:17 AM

Players know when they are having fun, as someone above stated.

In many instances, players have ideas (as anyone does), but what distinguishes the designer from the player is the perspective and insight they have into a game -- a designer is more fine tuned to how the game works, can predict what certain upgrades will do and if they are feasible. A player will have only his experience (subjective) of the game to work with, and in his opinion his ideas are spot on.

Money is another factor that spoils the artistic value of games. Customers dictate what they want, so games become either silly boats that rock back and forth between the highest bidders or are geared towards a certain population. WoW is a great example of the latter -- since yesterday's teens are today's adults, it is natural they have more money and are inclined to play the game -- yet, they have less time. The upgrades that reduce the amount of time spent on, let's call it, artistic value (sight seeing, random encounters, slow grinding while just talking) allows said players to keep churning money away.

To counter somewhat the above, well established companies such as Valve or Bioware have the luxury of a loyal fan base that knows that whatever they do, it will be good. Even if it is just some blind faith mixed with fanboism, it generates much better products that are accepted the way they are. Thanks to that we have Dragon Age, Half-Life, Diablo, all the good titles that we can call classic.

Given the above, it is more a case of how deep do we want to (or have to) dig into the gamer's pocket. There will always be at least one person who disagrees with something, or thinks has a better way of doing something (such is the human nature).
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#30 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 938

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 04:37 AM

WoW is a great example of the latter -- since yesterday's teens are today's adults, it is natural they have more money and are inclined to play the game -- yet, they have less time.


There is nothing wrong with making games accessible to busy working adults. Nor does it necessarily diminish the "artistic" value.

By default, whenever we make a game, we're targeting a specific audience. It is probably not a good idea to try and make every game equally appealing to both middle aged women and high school boys.

In my humble opinion, its not just "players don't know what they want". There is just no formula or rules dictating what a good game should be. I have spoken to people with PhDs in Art, and they say there is no consensus on "what is art", much less "what is good art". In other words, "nobody knows what they want".

#31 Think01   Members   -  Reputation: 100

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 07:27 AM

J03_b, on 06 April 2012 - 05:18 PM, said:
So that's why I suggest that if you want a game that's more about queuing for short sessions with other players, then why play something with miles and miles of landscape that you never use or even see? Do you just have to play something called an MMORPG?

Because I like playing MMORPGs, the fun parts, without all the time wasting.


If the landscape is fun to travel into, I would play it (of course). The traveling facility is (or should be) a choice: if I want to enter the dungeon on the other side of the world, it's good to avoid wasting time traveling (because it doesn't matter if the landscape is so fun: I'm not interested into it because what I want is the dungeon).
The worst situation is when you MUST travel for tens of minutes to get where you need to go to have fun. There's no fun in moving and moving and moving, even with the most beautiful digital landscapes: after the tenth time you do it you want to eat your monitor.

#32 J03_b   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 11 April 2012 - 11:56 PM

I guess it was a bad example to mention conveniences in WoW, because a lot of people like them. But there are better examples like armor abilities and bloom in halo. I'm sure everyone thought they were a good idea but they ended up taking away from the game. Same thing with the ranking system but (I hope) nobody asked for that, that was all the devs

#33 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 938

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 05:51 AM

But there are better examples like armor abilities and bloom in halo. I'm sure everyone thought they were a good idea but they ended up taking away from the game.


How do we judge that bloom takes away from the game? Do we refer to other player's negative comments about bloom? But then "players don't know what they want" right? So do we listen to them and conclude bloom is bad, or do we say "bloom is good, those complaining players just don't know what they want".

I think in the end, its all about your target audience. The Countstrike community will probably go nuts if you tell them you're removing "bloom" (the recoil system) from Counterstrike. On the other hand, the Halo community go nuts when bloom was introduced.

#34 J03_b   Members   -  Reputation: 130

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Posted 12 April 2012 - 08:37 PM

How do we judge that bloom takes away from the game? Do we refer to other player's negative comments about bloom? But then "players don't know what they want" right? So do we listen to them and conclude bloom is bad, or do we say "bloom is good, those complaining players just don't know what they want".

I think in the end, its all about your target audience. The Countstrike community will probably go nuts if you tell them you're removing "bloom" (the recoil system) from Counterstrike. On the other hand, the Halo community go nuts when bloom was introduced.



I think the consensus was that player's don't know what they want but they do know what they don't want. Considering most halo players asked for bloom then most halo players hated it

#35 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 938

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 04:46 AM

I think the consensus was that player's don't know what they want but they do know what they don't want. Considering most halo players asked for bloom then most halo players hated it


But there isn't really any difference between "want" and "don't want". When we "want" something to be changed in a game, we're are essentially saying we "don't want" the present system.

You could say that players don't want the old Halo recoil-less system, and hence the implementation of "bloom" is good.

Another example: you could say World of Warcraft players don't want inconveniences. And they know what they don't want.

#36 Malabyte   Members   -  Reputation: 583

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:49 AM

To the OP:
Your first mistake is that you went to a forum to figure out whether players know what they want or not, which is a major misstep. In fact, it's a horrendous one (no offence). Forums are actually a rather useless medium of analysing players (unless you're using it purely to see what a majority of people don't like - which typically boils to the top and can then be figured out quasi-statistically):


1) The written language:
Communicating through text is probably the least effective method of communication after symbolism. You don't hear the forumer's voice, nor do you see his body language. The only thing you can take at face value is facts presented - which we all can agree, I think, are rather absent with most forumers.


2) Players != forumers:
Forumers are most often players (of any game), but players (of that specific game) are most often not forumers. Even those who are forumers, more often do not participate actively in discussions. Long story short, you are given the impression that most players don't know what they want because most forumers who actively participate in forums, don't know what they want. You're making a classical inductive argument.


3) Internet introspection:
As a social part of the internet, forums suffer from the same problems as any other internet communications media in which people are effectively anonymous (or act as if they are). People will more often speak out from their guts rather than with reasoning, sometimes quite rigorously and randomly without any logic whatsoever - even though they may be very reasonable people otherwise. They're sooner to ridicule anyone that disagrees, than to look at the arguments and question their own logic. I'd go as far as to say that "the internet is where introspection goes to die". And you may quote me on that, haha. ;)


Anyways, I probably got more points, but I'll leave it at this. Cheers.

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#37 Malabyte   Members   -  Reputation: 583

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 10:58 AM

Also, I'd like to add one concrete thing:
Imagine a player who tells you that he hates a given feature. Well, does he know about all the various permutations of that feature to know perfectly whether he truly likes it or not? All that the player really tells you is that he essentially hates that specific permutation of that feature or group of features. But if that permutation is the only possible implementation of the feature that he knows about, then he's obviously going to say that he hates the feature and not the permutation of it.

So then the question comes up: Should you (1) remove the feature alltogether or (2) just implement it differently?

Just some food for thought. ;)

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- I don't know, I'm just a noob -


#38 jefferytitan   Members   -  Reputation: 1193

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Posted 13 April 2012 - 06:16 PM

But there isn't really any difference between "want" and "don't want". When we "want" something to be changed in a game, we're are essentially saying we "don't want" the present system.


There's a huge difference. They know what they don't like when they see/play it. They often don't know what they want in abstract terms, e.g. "sure it sounds cool in theory" followed by "eww, that feature sucks!". Designers also can't foresee the consequences of all ideas, but they spend longer than many players thinking it through, and often prototype it roughly to see if it works. Many players wouldn't want to deal with a prototyped feature, they'd say it sucked because it lacked polish, not because it was a bad feature.

#39 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 938

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 06:08 AM

There's a huge difference. They know what they don't like when they see/play it.


"I don't want feature X" is essentially the same as "I want a game without feature X" or "I want the old feature back".

#40 Malabyte   Members   -  Reputation: 583

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Posted 14 April 2012 - 07:23 AM

"I don't want feature X" is essentially the same as "I want a game without feature X" or "I want the old feature back".


Saying that I want the game to be different doesn't say anything about what specifically you want to see in the game.

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- I don't know, I'm just a noob -





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