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MMORPGs, Why Is There More Discussion Than Other Genres?


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#1 AltarofScience   Members   -  Reputation: 934

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 03:13 PM

When I was developing a theoretical MMORPG design there were so many spaces where I could go, MMORPG.com, being a large one, where I could discuss specific ideas and also just argue about them in general. Sandbox or themepark, fast travel or not, local or global economies.

Yet when I started to do actual work on RTS games there weren't really any dedicated spaces to discuss either the specific aspects of my ideas or more general concepts.

Extensive google search rarely came up with useful results either for rts or city building dicussions. It seems like most rts and city builder forums are sites of actual games, whereas MMOs are talked about in many other venues.

MMORPG.com and other sites have satellite sites like RTSGuru and such for other genres but these are never very popular.

Is there something particular about MMOs that people just get way more excited talking about them than other genres?

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#2 Sandman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 2136

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:37 PM

Basically, MMORPGs are the Newbie Designer's genre of choice, and since newbie designers outnumber non-newbie designers by about a billion to one, they are the genre that gets talked about the most. That and the fact that everyone who plays WoW wants to moan about the stuff they don't like and design their own game that 'fixes' it - like WoW, but better.

Personally, I think you'd have to be insane to develop an MMORPG. It's a lot of time and money to enter an extremely oversaturated and unforgiving market.

#3 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2154

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 04:52 PM

In addition to it being the newest genre out there and the lure of success, I believe that developing an MMO has an inherent "playing god" quality about it that other genres don't have. Build a world, populate it with people, and see how they fare. What's not exciting about that?

#4 sunandshadow   Moderators   -  Reputation: 4980

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 06:02 PM

More people spend more time playing MMOs than RTSes, would be my guess. It's much more common to get a design idea related to the genre you are currently playing or have played the most in the past few years than other genres.

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#5 Telcontar   Members   -  Reputation: 905

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:21 PM

'Newbie designer' comment is a pretty good point.

Also, I'd say that anyone who plays a lot of video games knows about the shortcomings of computer opponents and computer teammates. Having people working both for and against you is more fun and will open up more engrossing interactions.

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#6 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

I agree with sunandshadow that people spend a lot of time playing MMOs compared to other genres. And I'll add that a huge amount of time spent in MMOs would be considered unforgivable filler in other genres, and often not very engaging filler at that. It's easy when you're killing the same mobs for four hours in the hopes of scoring rare loot to imagine things that you'd rather be doing in game.

#7 Caldenfor   Members   -  Reputation: 323

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:06 PM

I agree with sunandshadow that people spend a lot of time playing MMOs compared to other genres. And I'll add that a huge amount of time spent in MMOs would be considered unforgivable filler in other genres, and often not very engaging filler at that. It's easy when you're killing the same mobs for four hours in the hopes of scoring rare loot to imagine things that you'd rather be doing in game.


It doesn't have to be that way. MMORPGs can have different styles of play without resorting to quest/mob grinds. Surely, players will do repetitive tasks, but that is up to them. If it is forced, there is something wrong.

#8 Khaiy   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1342

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:21 PM

It doesn't have to be that way. MMORPGs can have different styles of play without resorting to quest/mob grinds. Surely, players will do repetitive tasks, but that is up to them. If it is forced, there is something wrong.


I'm not saying that it has to be that way, but that's a cornerstone mechanic in the most popular MMO approaches. When an enormous portion of the game is based around repetitive spreadsheet action, a lot of players *will* be forced to do it regardless of whether or not different activities are available. It's not just quest/mob grinds either, there's plenty of crafting grinds and trading grinds and breeding grinds and on and on and on.

And it's a very rare MMO idea post I see that doesn't seem to be overwhelmingly influenced by existing games with the above mentioned design.

#9 starbasecitadel   Members   -  Reputation: 699

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 06:42 AM

I agree with all the above. WoW is incredibly popular, so probably more game designers have extensively played that game so it serves as a solid frame of reference. The psychology of being god is no doubt true as well. Just look at the WoW forums were "blue posts" are treated with a kind of almost spiritual reverence.

Really, the old thing that surprises me is with LoL's growing popularity (it has just overtaken WoW by some metrics), why I almost never see any interest in hobbyist game developers building a MOBA.

#10 aattss   Members   -  Reputation: 387

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:38 PM

Player interactions can be very complicated. With many people, you have to design how each feature will affect multiple parties. Also, MMORPGs are build to be played longer, so you need to have more content, which also inspires complaints about grinding, especially since you have to grind a certain amount in order to be on the same level as your friends.

#11 Caldenfor   Members   -  Reputation: 323

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 02:53 PM


It doesn't have to be that way. MMORPGs can have different styles of play without resorting to quest/mob grinds. Surely, players will do repetitive tasks, but that is up to them. If it is forced, there is something wrong.


I'm not saying that it has to be that way, but that's a cornerstone mechanic in the most popular MMO approaches. When an enormous portion of the game is based around repetitive spreadsheet action, a lot of players *will* be forced to do it regardless of whether or not different activities are available. It's not just quest/mob grinds either, there's plenty of crafting grinds and trading grinds and breeding grinds and on and on and on.

And it's a very rare MMO idea post I see that doesn't seem to be overwhelmingly influenced by existing games with the above mentioned design.


Sorry, didn't mean the statement to insinuate such a thing.

Yes, it is common place in most MMORPGs, but designers, if they are worth their salt, should see these issues. Most don't seem to care about solving the problems as they aren't large enough deterrent to play and they tend to keep players playing without having to create new content.

Everything can be a grind and the funny thing is players tend to place the grind upon themselves. I remember trying to get a black mare in UO for quite some time. I then hunted a variety of Cu Sidhes when I played during that expansion to sell to other players, always on the prowl for superior stats/colors for myself.

Players turn almost any activity into a grind. If they want to eliminate the grind, there needs to be enough variety in activities for players to take part in that they never feel the grind. Even then, players will have favored activities/desirables that tend towards grinding just because they WANT it. At that point it becomes the player's fault, not the game.

Edited by Caldenfor, 19 December 2012 - 02:53 PM.


#12 Orymus3   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 9938

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Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:15 AM

This may be a warped impression. I work in the industry, hell, my company even makes MMORPGs, and yet, forums is where I hear the most about them...

That said though, MMORPG are, by nature, much more social than single player experiences. It is agreeable that you might wish to discuss with a friend about a game you've played, but, single player experiences are much more intimate. The big advantage of MMOs is that, as you relate your 'story' (a play experience) you're more likely to be discussing with someone that has shared this story as well, which makes it more relevant.
A lot of single-player related conversations are very one-sided, arousing sometimes curiosity, but with little grounds to trully evolve to the next level: the other person either has no experience of the game, or has a much different 'story'. MMOs allow to share this vision in a number of ways. That may be why you feel like you are seeing more discussions about them, but that certainly won't be from me ;)

#13 Blind Radish   Members   -  Reputation: 355

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Posted 27 December 2012 - 12:58 PM

CHECK THIS.

MMOs started out in academia as a toy for growing the internet.  They wanted to do new things with networking, so naturally games sprung up as a way to quickly generate new reasons to build programs that utilized the internet, so they would have something fun to build upon the proto internet, right?

 

MMOs moved to the social scene, giving certain people a whole new experience.  Revolutionary, right?

Finally, MMOs got commercialized and as it turns out can be made to make fat stacks of cash.

Now think about how perfect of a set up that is to generate discussion on the topic.






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