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The Evolution of Social Bonds in MMOs


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#1 bwight   Members   -  Reputation: 165

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 01:01 PM

About Me

I'm new here but I've been lurking around for awhile. Recently I have been thinking about the current state of the MMO industry and I'm interested to see how you guys feel about the direction it's headed. My intentions are not to create a new MMO, I'm not delusional, I understand that such a game can easily take upwards of $100 million and even if completed it still has a high risk of failure. Not to mention that I have never launched a game nor developed one, I'm an experienced programmer of 7 years mostly working on distributed systems and large scale public APIs.

Overview

This post isn't about me, it's about MMOs and some lifecycle observations that I've made in my time playing MMOs. The examples I'm going to use will be taken from both Everquest and World of Warcraft. I believe there are other MMOs that could be included in these examples; however, I'm going to stick to the two that I've played when the game was first launched. Maybe some of this analysis applies to other games as well. I think all games evolve and change rules over time, decisions are made primarily based on the number of players and their current progression in the game.

Social

I believe this is one of the more critical parts to a successful MMOs and I think the social changes as the game evolves have been rather drastic. There have been many well polished MMOs that are very similar to WoW. Many of those MMOs have great potential and some of them may even be better than WoW. So you might be asking, why are these games not successful? Why would anyone play WoW when there are other games with better game play or more interesting content? The core reason is the social bonds formed while playing the game. The majority of people who play MMOs are already in a guild or have a lot of friends. They enjoy logging on and playing with their friends and socializing, they don't want to change games. Does this mean that all future games don't stand a fighting chance? No, not necessarily, I think if done correctly there's no reason more games couldn't succeed. If I believe its possible then why are almost all of these copycats of WoW failing? I think it's because they look at where WoW is today and not where it was at launch. Now that WoW has the critical mass they don't need to force the social bonds on people. Many of the newer games seem to try and skip the beginning of this social evolution and jump straight to the end. I think this is the wrong way to go about launching a game, let me give you some examples.

Social Evolution in Everquest

When this game launched it was very difficult to do anything alone. I remember dying repeatedly at level 3-4 trying to kill an NPC the same level as me. Especially if the class I had chosen was a healer or enchanter. As the levels got higher around level 15 - 30 almost every form of leveling required a group to get good experience. Sure if you wanted you could go out alone but for the majority of classes this method just wasn't very effective. Having a close group of friends and or being a part of a guild was almost required to reach the max level. You also needed help from friends in many other ways, each class has special benefits to people and this helped form friendships and increase the social aspect of the game. If you died down in some dungeon somewhere you almost always needed help from someone to recover the corpse. If you wanted to move to the other side of the world you needed a wizard or druid. I can go on forever with this list but I'll stop here since I think I've made my point, when the game started people were forced to be more social it was difficult to play alone.

With so many high level characters in the game there were less people to group with at lower levels and as a result the rules had to be changed. Leveling up alone had to be easier for new players. Everquest realized this and they started making it easier to level up alone, they made it easier to transport without using a wizard or druid. Buffs that help the leveling progress had increased duration and were easily accessible even if you didn't have a friend with the buff. You could just run to town once every 2 hours and get a refresh and some could even be purchased as potions. This seems like the right thing to do but what happens to all the new people to the game? How do they meet friends? It use to be easy to meet friends and find a group but now it’s difficult and new people get bored playing alone.

Social Evolution in WoW

WoW also had a similar evolution throughout the game. At launch WoW's quest system enabled people to level up and play the game without ever grouping with another player. To supplement their quests WoW had a dungeon system that required a group. The motivations for joining a dungeon were strong for players like healers and tanks because doing quests was hard and slow for those types of classes. It was beneficial to almost everyone to be in a guild or have a close group of friends because it was difficult to form group with complete strangers. The dungeon crawl was much more laid back and relaxing because people must be on their best behavior. If any player started to cause problems nobody will want to group with them again. Everything they did emphasized a strong social tie to the game.

As the game progressed WoW added a few more features that changed how people level. The number one culprit was the ability to have multiple talent trees. Leveling was made easier because all classes had the ability to level solo. Nobody really cared about grouping because it was considered a much slower leveling with groups than questing. If you wanted to hit the max level and start doing things with your real life friends who were level 80 then you needed to level quick. People stopped playing dungeons as often and started questing more. Something had to change because all the content wow developed wasn't being played. So what did they do? They added the auto queue system to ease the difficulty of finding and creating a group. This has an obvious impact on the social aspect of the game as now you don't need to make friends anymore. You could just click a button and the computer would find temporary friends to play with you. This also changes the players behavior while in a group, because you will never see these players again you can be a complete dick and it doesn't matter. I don't remember the last time I met any friends in WoW that weren't a new guild member. There aren't many other ways to meet people, everyone plays alone. The fact is, it doesn't matter anymore WoW has so many people playing and everyone already has friends. As a result their focus has changed, now they're more worried about what content to add then forcing people to make friends.

Summary

I know this has been a long post but maybe I'm not too crazy after all. All of the new games try to jump into the game with all the features that are offered by WoW such as instances and cross-realm instances. You don't need to form groups any more you can just auto-queue for an instance and when its ready you get paired up with 4 other people you'll never see again. I believe that if a new game was to succeed they would need to re-think the game play a bit in order to force socialization between players. You have to build MMOs with a strong foundation of friendships and guilds to be successful. This is something that most new games miss now a day. What do you guys think? Are these changes good? Do you like them? Do you agree with my analysis? Are there any other examples you can think of from other successful games?

Edited by bwight, 05 September 2012 - 01:01 PM.


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#2 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:41 PM

Me personally, I hate playing in a group in an MMO. I'm an introvert, and I especially don't want to invest my energy into developing a relationship with someone who lives nowhere near me and I'll never meet in real life. I'm in a totally different demographic than the one you are describing of people who stay in the same game even though it's old to play max-level content with their friends. I love to solo, whether I'm soloing quests, sim/crafting content, or dungeons. So, any MMO which is designed to make people socialize is going to be irritating at best to me.
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#3 bwight   Members   -  Reputation: 165

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 04:56 PM

Me personally, I hate playing in a group in an MMO. I'm an introvert, and I especially don't want to invest my energy into developing a relationship with someone who lives nowhere near me and I'll never meet in real life. I'm in a totally different demographic than the one you are describing of people who stay in the same game even though it's old to play max-level content with their friends. I love to solo, whether I'm soloing quests, sim/crafting content, or dungeons. So, any MMO which is designed to make people socialize is going to be irritating at best to me.


Sure that makes complete sense I know there are a large portion of people that feel the same way. I think a game like wow also tries to target your demographic as well. I'm guessing that you either don't play MMOs or you spent a lot of time trying new ones when they come out?

#4 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:57 PM


Me personally, I hate playing in a group in an MMO. I'm an introvert, and I especially don't want to invest my energy into developing a relationship with someone who lives nowhere near me and I'll never meet in real life. I'm in a totally different demographic than the one you are describing of people who stay in the same game even though it's old to play max-level content with their friends. I love to solo, whether I'm soloing quests, sim/crafting content, or dungeons. So, any MMO which is designed to make people socialize is going to be irritating at best to me.


Sure that makes complete sense I know there are a large portion of people that feel the same way. I think a game like wow also tries to target your demographic as well. I'm guessing that you either don't play MMOs or you spent a lot of time trying new ones when they come out?

I love MMOs and do regularly try new ones. When I find a good one I generally play it between 3 and 6 months, which is what it takes me to get my main either to max level or to a level high enough that the game has become more grinding than fun.
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#5 Caldenfor   Members   -  Reputation: 323

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 09:04 PM

Bwight, you make a very solid point and I understand where you are coming from.

Now the question is this; We know what future issues are in a game's lifespan, why is it that developers are trying to build using "existing fixes" in their game at release rather than try to design a game that avoids these flaws altogether?

P.S.
Don't worry about sunandshadow, surely likes games, but socializing certainly isn't his thing lol. Yet he posts here quite often... I think he craves social interaction! Sunandshadow, you just need the right MMO!

Edited by Caldenfor, 05 September 2012 - 09:05 PM.


#6 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 12:12 AM

Don't worry about sunandshadow, surely likes games, but socializing certainly isn't his thing lol. Yet he posts here quite often... I think he craves social interaction! Sunandshadow, you just need the right MMO!

Lol, I'm a she actually. No worries, I'm used to the assumption that gamedev members are male until proven otherwise; there are probably other female posters I mistakenly assume are male.

I like a little socialization - at a comfortable distance and times of my choosing. Like a messageboard or global chat channel built into a game where I can choose to participate only when the topic is relevant to my interest. Games that allow a player to be involved at a mild level in several interest-based guilds are great, especially if they also allow diceless roleplaying within a private forum or chat channel belonging to that guild. A global marketplace or other trading system within a game can also be a pleasant limited form of social interaction. I love games that let you admire/explore something another user has built/collected and leave a comment. I even occasionally enjoy a PvP arena system that will automatch me with an opponent (I'm much more likely to be interested if it is a turn-based sort of combat like tactical combat or a deck building card game). I just hate the in-my-face way many MMOs want to make basic activities within the game impossible or severely disadvantageous to not do in a group or as a social networking activity.

If an MMO wants me to play it a long time, the features it needs to have are solo achievements, minigames, collection and features for showing one's collections to others, sim gameplay such as crop growing and pet monster capturing and breeding, crafting customization such as being able to manufacture dyes and use them to recolor clothing or get tattooed, or building sculptures or quests/interactive stories for other players to admire. That is the kind of end-game (and mid-game) content I would love to see in an MMO. I think it's funny (in a pathetic way) that a lot of that is done better by the less serious game websites like NeoPets and Gaia Online than by real MMOs.

BTW I'm not arguing that a lot of MMO players are all about the socialization - I know they are. I know people who live for 40-man raids or team pvp or PUGging dungeons. I just feel like that demographic gets all the design attention. XP

Edited by sunandshadow, 06 September 2012 - 12:16 AM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#7 jill mumford   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 03:23 AM

i like to play the WoW game, that's a fantastic game,compared with Guild Wars 2, i like WoW more...Posted Image
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#8 Drethon   Members   -  Reputation: 212

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:04 AM

My major issue with most social parts of MMOs is the time factor. I often want to drop in for ten or fifteen minutes to play for a bit or need to drop off for a little while in the middle of playing. Most single player quests you can leave and come back with minimal consequence but it is a major impact in a group quest.

I played Eve Online for quite a while doing manufacturing because it didn't really matter how long or short you were online. I'd put up purchase orders for materials, produce more equipment and/or put produced items on the market and leave. Those items stayed on the market or in production and continued working while I wasn't there.

I don't mind working with other people but I just wish the in game time requirement was not as strict as it is in most MMOs.
- My $0.02

#9 bwight   Members   -  Reputation: 165

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 08:30 AM

Bwight, you make a very solid point and I understand where you are coming from.

Now the question is this; We know what future issues are in a game's lifespan, why is it that developers are trying to build using "existing fixes" in their game at release rather than try to design a game that avoids these flaws altogether?


I'm not sure I would classify it as a flaw in game design. I think its just something natural that happens. If I was creating a game I would embrace it and plan accordingly. There's no reason the game play of your game can't change over time. The point that I was trying to make is that everyone tries to just jump to the 2nd stage and that's what breaks them. The solution to the problem generally has a negative affect on the social atmosphere.

My major issue with most social parts of MMOs is the time factor. I often want to drop in for ten or fifteen minutes to play for a bit or need to drop off for a little while in the middle of playing. Most single player quests you can leave and come back with minimal consequence but it is a major impact in a group quest.

I played Eve Online for quite a while doing manufacturing because it didn't really matter how long or short you were online. I'd put up purchase orders for materials, produce more equipment and/or put produced items on the market and leave. Those items stayed on the market or in production and continued working while I wasn't there.

I don't mind working with other people but I just wish the in game time requirement was not as strict as it is in most MMOs.


This is another thing I was thinking about as well. I know that when I was younger I use to be very addicted to MMOs. I had a lot more time and I wasn't looking to spend 15 minutes playing but hours and hours. Now, i'm working full time, have a wife and two kids and I find it hard to find an hour to play. I still love MMOs but the way I play them has changed significantly.

I think it would be interesting if there was a combat oriented MMO that focused more on the tradeskills as well. Both WoW and Everquest failed to make the tradeskills a vital part of daily life. It was important but once you reached the max level there wasn't a whole lot to do. Frankly they're just boring to me because it's always the same, make 1200 peices of cloth armor and you reach level 300. Some other games have approached this much better.

#10 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 09:52 AM

A long time ago, MMOs were text-based with no graphics whatsoever and were known as MUDs (multi user dungeons). During that time, forced socializing/grouping was the norm: almost everywhere require you to be in a group to survive, or to make any significant gains in gold or exp.

It was horrible.

It wasn't the social heaven that people thought it would be. You don't join the server and get lots of friendly people who are looking to group or socialize. Instead, the player population consists of closed groups of "elites" who already have their own group going and don't trust others, or clueless newbies. It takes forever to get anything done because you first need to find people to group with, then make sure those people know what they are doing or can follow instructions, and then make sure everyone has the time to complete the task. This would often fail, leaving you at square one with possibly hours of wasted time.

It greatly limited their audience.

If you can't find a group, and none of your friends are online - you can't play. If you're a new player, and none of your friends play, good luck trying to get anything done. Sometimes, you would get your friends to join the game, but because you had a head start, and because of all the barriers they put into the game, it is so hard to group with them. Good luck logging and playing for 15-20 minutes when you have the time - you'll probably need to spend 30+ minutes begging for people to group with before you can even start to play the game.

MMOs have evolved.

People realized that the smart thing to do is to instead give people the option of grouping/socializing. They realized that if people are grouping up simply because they want to gain gold or exp faster, then they are not really socializing or making friends. By giving people an option to go solo, they eliminated all the inefficiencies, inconvenience, and made sure that people who group are actually into grouping. Games like Everquest and WoW are famous for their huge, highly organized guild raids, and yet, one can finish the game solo without ever having to group. Many MMOs also realized that they need to give people the tools to be sociable: e.g. easy travel between location so you can meet up with friends, and removal of grouping restrictions so "old-bies" can group with newbies without penalty.

All in all, MMOs have come a long way from being closed elitist/snobbish communities that requires many hours of time commitment into a mass marketable genre.

Edited by Legendre, 06 September 2012 - 09:53 AM.


#11 bwight   Members   -  Reputation: 165

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 10:25 AM

A long time ago, MMOs were text-based with no graphics whatsoever and were known as MUDs (multi user dungeons). During that time, forced socializing/grouping was the norm: almost everywhere require you to be in a group to survive, or to make any significant gains in gold or exp.

It was horrible.

It wasn't the social heaven that people thought it would be. You don't join the server and get lots of friendly people who are looking to group or socialize. Instead, the player population consists of closed groups of "elites" who already have their own group going and don't trust others, or clueless newbies. It takes forever to get anything done because you first need to find people to group with, then make sure those people know what they are doing or can follow instructions, and then make sure everyone has the time to complete the task. This would often fail, leaving you at square one with possibly hours of wasted time.

It greatly limited their audience.

If you can't find a group, and none of your friends are online - you can't play. If you're a new player, and none of your friends play, good luck trying to get anything done. Sometimes, you would get your friends to join the game, but because you had a head start, and because of all the barriers they put into the game, it is so hard to group with them. Good luck logging and playing for 15-20 minutes when you have the time - you'll probably need to spend 30+ minutes begging for people to group with before you can even start to play the game.

MMOs have evolved.

People realized that the smart thing to do is to instead give people the option of grouping/socializing. They realized that if people are grouping up simply because they want to gain gold or exp faster, then they are not really socializing or making friends. By giving people an option to go solo, they eliminated all the inefficiencies, inconvenience, and made sure that people who group are actually into grouping. Games like Everquest and WoW are famous for their huge, highly organized guild raids, and yet, one can finish the game solo without ever having to group. Many MMOs also realized that they need to give people the tools to be sociable: e.g. easy travel between location so you can meet up with friends, and removal of grouping restrictions so "old-bies" can group with newbies without penalty.

All in all, MMOs have come a long way from being closed elitist/snobbish communities that requires many hours of time commitment into a mass marketable genre.


Great post, I was hoping to get more responses like this that view the evolution in MMOs from another viewpoint. For me it's obvious the changes that have been made to MMOs but less obvious the motivation for making those changes. I remember exactly what you were talking about in Everquest. There were times that it was hard to find a group, especially when you were higher level. Usually though if you were a member of a guild it wasn't difficult at all to find a group. There were times where I waited 30 - 60 minutes waiting for a group but usually I would find something else to do.

For me questing is really boring. Specially the way they make it now a day with games like WoW. I spend all my time leveling looking at the map and running towards the area that is marked. I don't spend any time exploring or looking around i'm always being told where to go and what to kill and for how long. Maybe I'd like to sit down with a group and kill goblins at a game for a few hours. The auto-queuing for dungeons is even worse. I started playing another game recently called RIFT, very fun game, except i can't even tell you where the dungeon entrances are I don't even know what zone they're in unless I die. I played the whole game without even seeing 20% of the world because I could just teleport everywhere and spent the majority of my time in dungeons. The same applies to WoW, it's just boring and some of the new people don't even know half of the zones because they never had to go there.

Maybe the type of game I enjoy is more of the elitist/snobbish types but it feels much more like a grind when I have to run around doing quests. I never played the MUDs but I know in Everquest because the groups were very social, everyone but the person pulling the new mobs to kill was sitting around talking. You can hardly spend 2 seconds talking in modern day MMO dungeons or groups because they're so fast paced.

#12 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 02:48 PM

I never played the MUDs but I know in Everquest because the groups were very social, everyone but the person pulling the new mobs to kill was sitting around talking. You can hardly spend 2 seconds talking in modern day MMO dungeons or groups because they're so fast paced.

This is one of the nice things about games like Dofus and Wizard 101 which have turn-based combat. If there are two or more players fighting together, when it's not your turn there's plenty of time to type a sentence or two of chat. Gets excessively slow when there are 6 or 8 players in group though.

Edited by sunandshadow, 06 September 2012 - 02:49 PM.

I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#13 Caldenfor   Members   -  Reputation: 323

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Posted 06 September 2012 - 07:12 PM


Don't worry about sunandshadow, surely likes games, but socializing certainly isn't his thing lol. Yet he posts here quite often... I think he craves social interaction! Sunandshadow, you just need the right MMO!

Lol, I'm a she actually. No worries, I'm used to the assumption that gamedev members are male until proven otherwise; there are probably other female posters I mistakenly assume are male.

I like a little socialization - at a comfortable distance and times of my choosing. Like a messageboard or global chat channel built into a game where I can choose to participate only when the topic is relevant to my interest. Games that allow a player to be involved at a mild level in several interest-based guilds are great, especially if they also allow diceless roleplaying within a private forum or chat channel belonging to that guild. A global marketplace or other trading system within a game can also be a pleasant limited form of social interaction. I love games that let you admire/explore something another user has built/collected and leave a comment. I even occasionally enjoy a PvP arena system that will automatch me with an opponent (I'm much more likely to be interested if it is a turn-based sort of combat like tactical combat or a deck building card game). I just hate the in-my-face way many MMOs want to make basic activities within the game impossible or severely disadvantageous to not do in a group or as a social networking activity.

If an MMO wants me to play it a long time, the features it needs to have are solo achievements, minigames, collection and features for showing one's collections to others, sim gameplay such as crop growing and pet monster capturing and breeding, crafting customization such as being able to manufacture dyes and use them to recolor clothing or get tattooed, or building sculptures or quests/interactive stories for other players to admire. That is the kind of end-game (and mid-game) content I would love to see in an MMO. I think it's funny (in a pathetic way) that a lot of that is done better by the less serious game websites like NeoPets and Gaia Online than by real MMOs.

BTW I'm not arguing that a lot of MMO players are all about the socialization - I know they are. I know people who live for 40-man raids or team pvp or PUGging dungeons. I just feel like that demographic gets all the design attention. XP


Apologies none the less.

I was about to say, then I finished reading your post so you beat me to it; What if there were certain "mundane" activities, aka non-combat/immediate attention not required, that you could play offline through a browser on your mobile/home PC that updated portions of the MMO world.

Example: Use a separate program accessible through any web browser/app store/whatever(not up to date on all available options) that allows you partake in activities that affect you within your MMORPG desktop/laptop .exe game. For example; Your virtual "yard" in the game would be something that you maintain using this external program. You could actually play these mini-games outside of the actual game world to progress within the MMORPG world, but due to the easier and more consistent access via less system requirements to partake in and the more casual nature of the specific mini-game potentials, it can take longer than the average game as it would be a casual game experience from the start. The garden that you grow outside of the game could be updated within the game to show what you have been growing in your garden. -Bolded for emphasis-

Edited by Caldenfor, 06 September 2012 - 07:25 PM.


#14 bwight   Members   -  Reputation: 165

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 08:15 AM



Don't worry about sunandshadow, surely likes games, but socializing certainly isn't his thing lol. Yet he posts here quite often... I think he craves social interaction! Sunandshadow, you just need the right MMO!

Lol, I'm a she actually. No worries, I'm used to the assumption that gamedev members are male until proven otherwise; there are probably other female posters I mistakenly assume are male.

I like a little socialization - at a comfortable distance and times of my choosing. Like a messageboard or global chat channel built into a game where I can choose to participate only when the topic is relevant to my interest. Games that allow a player to be involved at a mild level in several interest-based guilds are great, especially if they also allow diceless roleplaying within a private forum or chat channel belonging to that guild. A global marketplace or other trading system within a game can also be a pleasant limited form of social interaction. I love games that let you admire/explore something another user has built/collected and leave a comment. I even occasionally enjoy a PvP arena system that will automatch me with an opponent (I'm much more likely to be interested if it is a turn-based sort of combat like tactical combat or a deck building card game). I just hate the in-my-face way many MMOs want to make basic activities within the game impossible or severely disadvantageous to not do in a group or as a social networking activity.

If an MMO wants me to play it a long time, the features it needs to have are solo achievements, minigames, collection and features for showing one's collections to others, sim gameplay such as crop growing and pet monster capturing and breeding, crafting customization such as being able to manufacture dyes and use them to recolor clothing or get tattooed, or building sculptures or quests/interactive stories for other players to admire. That is the kind of end-game (and mid-game) content I would love to see in an MMO. I think it's funny (in a pathetic way) that a lot of that is done better by the less serious game websites like NeoPets and Gaia Online than by real MMOs.

BTW I'm not arguing that a lot of MMO players are all about the socialization - I know they are. I know people who live for 40-man raids or team pvp or PUGging dungeons. I just feel like that demographic gets all the design attention. XP


Apologies none the less.

I was about to say, then I finished reading your post so you beat me to it; What if there were certain "mundane" activities, aka non-combat/immediate attention not required, that you could play offline through a browser on your mobile/home PC that updated portions of the MMO world.

Example: Use a separate program accessible through any web browser/app store/whatever(not up to date on all available options) that allows you partake in activities that affect you within your MMORPG desktop/laptop .exe game. For example; Your virtual "yard" in the game would be something that you maintain using this external program. You could actually play these mini-games outside of the actual game world to progress within the MMORPG world, but due to the easier and more consistent access via less system requirements to partake in and the more casual nature of the specific mini-game potentials, it can take longer than the average game as it would be a casual game experience from the start. The garden that you grow outside of the game could be updated within the game to show what you have been growing in your garden. -Bolded for emphasis-


Yeah I've thought the same thing before. No reason not to allow things like guild chat, auction house, tradeskills etc. Access to the bank and guild banks should be able to be done without logging into the game. I think you should be able to do lots of things like that. For example, if it takes 30 minutes to find a group why can't you look for a group offline and once there's a group created log into the game. I think the possibilities are endless and in this day in age having applications for Facebook / phones / twitter go a long way to market your game.

#15 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4578

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 03:02 PM

Personally I'd probably log in to do that sort of thing because it contributes to the feeling of immersion, but I bet there are a lot of people who would like to be able to use their smart phones to do this sort of thing on their commute or other times they are sitting around waiting during the day; the times people are usually resorting to angry birds or solitaire.
I want to help design a "sandpark" MMO. Optional interactive story with quests and deeply characterized NPCs, plus sandbox elements like player-craftable housing and lots of other crafting. If you are starting a design of this type, please PM me.

#16 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:13 PM

For example, if it takes 30 minutes to find a group why can't you look for a group offline and once there's a group created log into the game.


A game requiring players to spend 30 minutes offline trying to find a group has much bigger problems than marketing.

#17 cronocr   Members   -  Reputation: 751

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 04:14 PM

Example: Use a separate program accessible through any web browser/app store/whatever(not up to date on all available options) that allows you partake in activities that affect you within your MMORPG desktop/laptop .exe game. For example; Your virtual "yard" in the game would be something that you maintain using this external program. You could actually play these mini-games outside of the actual game world to progress within the MMORPG world, but due to the easier and more consistent access via less system requirements to partake in and the more casual nature of the specific mini-game potentials, it can take longer than the average game as it would be a casual game experience from the start. The garden that you grow outside of the game could be updated within the game to show what you have been growing in your garden. -Bolded for emphasis-


That's such a great idea I would like to implement in my MMORPG construction kit, if you don't mind :)
Unity3D, HTML5, Flash, PHP, Java, Objective C, DX/OGL and more...
Improving modern game mechanics: youtu.be/UJOQ3krzvWE

 


#18 Caldenfor   Members   -  Reputation: 323

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Posted 07 September 2012 - 11:20 PM


Example: Use a separate program accessible through any web browser/app store/whatever(not up to date on all available options) that allows you partake in activities that affect you within your MMORPG desktop/laptop .exe game. For example; Your virtual "yard" in the game would be something that you maintain using this external program. You could actually play these mini-games outside of the actual game world to progress within the MMORPG world, but due to the easier and more consistent access via less system requirements to partake in and the more casual nature of the specific mini-game potentials, it can take longer than the average game as it would be a casual game experience from the start. The garden that you grow outside of the game could be updated within the game to show what you have been growing in your garden. -Bolded for emphasis-


That's such a great idea I would like to implement in my MMORPG construction kit, if you don't mind Posted Image


It is the world's idea now.

#19 Legendre   Members   -  Reputation: 963

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 04:26 AM


That's such a great idea I would like to implement in my MMORPG construction kit, if you don't mind Posted Image


It is the world's idea now.


Guild Wars 2 already implemented something similar. So its not a new idea.

#20 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 372

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Posted 08 September 2012 - 07:08 AM

Personally, I would enjoy a MMO which practically requires mutualism, but is also a persistent world where structures are player-made. If you lived in a community, not only would you be hanging out with nearby people, which means that you aren't hooking up with random strangers, but you can also help them out. Moreso, it would be good if low-level people can also contribute to other people. There are things that high level people can do that low level people can't, but there are things that both high and low level people need to do.




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