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Warsong

MMORPG's seem boring, so why so many boring games?

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I see many new designers asking to make an MMORPG and I do not get how so many are around. Even top companies like square with Final Fantasy online being out is boring but people like to play for 1 hour to take on around 5 fights. I could beat 2 games within that time and take on over 500 enemies on a simple and fun 2D game. Will the definition of fun games later mean boring games that have 3D visual effects taken over interaction to become more visual like a TV? I get more action from a TV remote control so maybe they should call challenge surfing and TV adjusting a game and you win when you find a good show after surfing so many channels.

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A lot of MMORPG's are popular because of community feel, tradeskilling, questing, grouping, etc.

Sometimes those thrills take the place of the kinetic energy in 2D games, even though yes, I agree, in the majority of MMORPG's, most classes are just bland representations of what we would call heroes.

World of Warcraft was pretty fun during the stress test, though. Of all the MMORPG's I've tried, it's the most "gamey". However, in the most recent discussions I've read on their forums, some of the classes are starting to get blanded down. Hopefully it's still fun at release.

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I don't think it's just MMORPG's, I think it's RPG's in general as well. The guys that sit there making the games go "hmm, we're now able to do all these 1337 graphics, so let's do it...oh and hey Joe, wanna slap a story together real quick?" Either that or they fall into the "let's sit here for hours watching FMV to tell us what the plot is instead of PLAYING something" category. It seems the industry people thought it'd be fun to try, and since that's most of what gets on the market, even the game players are starting to think that way too. I've seen game reviews like "Great plot, great world, it made me cry every 30 minutes...but the graphics looked like something for N64. Don't these guys know how to make a GOOD GAME?" With players like that, it's not surprising that these types of games are going downhill.

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I say play the pen and paper variety RPG's. Unfortunately PnPRPG'ing has the stigma of being uber-nerdy, perhaps somewhere inbetween the strata of comic book fans and Klingon wannabees.

But I tend to think that playing in front of a computer in an MMORPG is at least as nerdy as getting with a bunch of friends and socializing. Playing with an RPG group was just as much about getting pizza and having fun with your friends as anything else (sort of like nerdy poker). I see MMORPG'ing like socializing via IRC as opposed to face-to-face meetings and I don't think MMORPG'ers can claim to be any less geeky than the PnPRPG'ers (of which I've seen some people claim that they draw their nerd-line at playing MMORPG's).

Plus, PnPRPG's have a level of creativity and imagination that computer RPG's simply can't touch. In many ways, PnPRPG'ing is a storytelling process weaved by both the players and the GM. This requires a certain level of practice and talent, but the rewards are well worth it.

Unfortunately, we've become a society of unimaginative consumers. I was listening to a show on NPR radio that said that less than 10% of the adult male population from the ages of 18-30 in the US reads any literature for the entire year (magazines and newspapers don't count, but ironically, comics do....and women are slightly more pro-literate than men). We want our entertainment handed to us on a silver platter without much more creative input other than flicking our wrists or thumbs. We download music instead of learning how to play or compose ourselves, and instead of using our imagination to read we watch movies and TV (I was amazed at how few people read any of Tolkien's books before the movies came out...and I'm even more amazed at how few wanted to read it after they saw the trilogy despite how much people loved the story). I see now how true a question I once saw is, "do we consume goods to live, or do we live to consume goods?". So I feel that MMORPG's take away more of the creative and imaginative input from the players that still exists in PnPRPG's. Then again, maybe I'm just an old fart who thinks that not all is roses with the advancement of technology.

I'm not sure what the ballywho is about MMORPG's either. From my limited experience with them, I agree that they are bland, boring and aren't truly roleplaying at all. They are in effect, roll-playing. Rather, they are often little more than graphical chat rooms for people to socialize in (at least from the little I've played....which was a few days worth of Anarchy Online and Everquest as well as watching some of my friends play). The problem I think is multiple.

I believe their most fundamental flaw is that they lack a direction because they are unmoderated. Without a GM or storyteller's guidance, there is no central focus or purpose nor is there someone to "create the stage on the fly" like a theatre director would (which is what GM's do). Many people get excited when they see an advertising tagline that says that they can do whatever they please without any restraints. Personally, I find that extremely boring. As human beings, we like and want direction in our lives as well as closure. Being able to explore is a nice concept, but without an overall frame with which the exploration has a purpose for, it's meaningless. After awhile, inevitably you will wonder as a player..."okay, now what?". One game I haven't played that I probably should have is Neverwinter Nights, since it is supposed to allow for a moderator (though NWN isn't an MMORPG either).

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My personal feeling is that most MMORPGs are boring because any MMORPG is really just a 60 to 80 hour RPG, except that its plagued with both unnessiccarily large zones to create the illusion of a full world and a long time involved between leveling up.

The big worlds are nice, but they're usually full of nothing. Or at the least, people in AFK mode. But this means you spend ALOT of your time WALKING OR RUNNING around to get to your mission.

The long time between levels is made just so you have to invest 200.. 300.. 4000 hours on one character to get it to max level. They do this because otherwise you STOP PAYING TO PLAY.

realistically, alot of the MMORPGS ive played have alot of missions, but all the missions are the same. Whats the difference between killing 200 turtle monsters, and killing 200 orc monsters? NOTHING. Whats the difference between finding 10 Rare drop items from Monster X and 10 rare drop items from Monster Y? NOTHING. The thing is, 99% of all MMORPG missions are part of a set of about 10 different types of missions. go kill boss X. kill X amount of Y monsters. etc etc. this adds to BORING.

MMORPG developers need to decide to make a fun GAME, as opposed to making sure every player sticks aound for 6-12 months to do ruitene boring bullshit (wich happens to be just long enough for the next big MMORPG from that company to come out).

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Guest Anonymous Poster
the whole idea of MMORPGs is flawed. A very important part of RPGs is being a hero, and that is hardly possible when there's hundreds of other "heroes" running around. You can't give a player what he wants without punishing the other 1000 players on the same server. And if everyone can kill a dragon in one strike, well, what's so special about it when everybody else can do it? MMORPG is probably the worst kind of MMO game possible. Companies should make MMO strategy or FPS games instead. A true virtual battlefield would be far more interesting to play, and everyone's equal there, thats IMHO :)

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I've always been intrigued by MMORPG's, althought the only one I've ever seen in action is "Phantasy Star Online." It looked decent from what I saw of it, but that was only about 45 minutes. The thing that keeps me from them is exactly what AP mentioned.

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i believe that most boreness is caused by these factors

1. Over Freedom

maybe grand thief auto have too much influence on everyone, people are now trying to implement freedom in everygame. why is it so bad?

lets look at GTA
how its freedom achieved without boredom.
first, GTA is more of an arcade style game than realism game.
even when you freely move around the virtualy environment in gta, u have many things to do, such as carjacking, and ran over americans (i mean pedestrians).

compare to another freedom game, Morrowind. while u can be free, and "explore the vast continent of the land of morrowind".
now that sounds fun, but exploration can be very boring with no goals, and nothing to interact. just like a new game in development, that u only have a working terrain, and a character walks on it. well u might debate that, i occasionaly ran into monsters that i can fight, and tresure chest to open, or hidden quest to take. well i think thats one of the major design error in morrowind, u do ran into monsters, but they are either too weak to gain you any experience or too strong for you that kill you with one blow because you are not supposed to come to this area at this stage. and howoften you ran to a tresure chest for you to open that is not locked? well my lockpicking skill is sufficient and open the chest, and all i see its a piece of rat meat. same with hidden quest that is very time consuming and often u dont get much in return.
lastly, when u exploring u often find yourself lost in the woods or maze. if u try to navigate your way back to your nearest town, that might take twice the time u first came here. people will just reload their saved game because its not worth it, and after they reload their saved game, they say to theirselves, why the hell did i bother to explore in the first place.(finished ranting with morrowind)

AN LINEAR GAME WITH INTERESTING STORY CAN BE VERY ENJOYABLE

and back to the topic, many mmorpg gives too much freedom and does not give much in return, therefor it creates boredom

2.Repetition/slowness

while people likes long games, and they gets nice reviews at gamespot says that XXXXX game have NNhours of playtime. over repetition is just boring as hell.

many game that tries to limit the player progression speed inorder to achieve "lengthy" playing time, and this is another major design fault. you might say "who wants to play diablo2 when everyone is at level99". true, but diablo2 design is different, even if you reached level99, u still want the best gear u can get, and even if u think u have the best gear, u can still finding good items for your other characters or as collection purpose.
if your game takes 30 minute average to level up from lvl1 to level10, and your next skill is available at level 12, do u feel you have achieved something? no!. u still with your first level 1 skill, and u still does the same animation, boring as hell, and whats more, the people around u are just the same level as you do, and they all use the same skill, same animation, some major dejavu here.
i agree that some game are intended to be realistic, no no game can be "real", if its real, its not a game anymore, and because its a game, it needs to be enjoyable, u cant just sacrifice 50%gameplay to get 5% realism.

others

goals have being talked about in the freedom section. if a game have no goal, its not enjoyable, the most simple goal is "get as much score as posible" and "kill the other guy"
well ofcourse that all game have a goal, it is often not clearly seem or mentioned. ok back to morrowind bashing, the goal isnt clearly stated, u are just another prisoner released and you are free, what you want to do is completly up to you. while that might sounds fun, u can do many things that is not possible in yourlife, such as killing some townfolks. but its not a freeworld as it may sound, u will still facing punishment in game, just like u recieve punishment for crime in real life. gameplayers want to enjoy the game not to get punished. and thus where a freeworld now becomes not so free.(WT, this should belong to the freedom section).

also gamers likes to see achivement and new stuff or random stuff.
for example diablo2, u dont level up quickly in later stages but u get better equipments alone the way, u kill bosses and solve quest quite easily and straightforward. all items are randomly generated, and they looks different when you wear them.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
I am sick of the MMORPG thing myself. For one there is, in my experience, no role playing involved. It's kind of hard to feel immersed in a fantasy world when you are encountering clerics named Foxy_Lady_168 or Warriors named Cartman and people are using street slang. They really are just glorified social gatherings. And a social gathering of 12 yr olds is not a place I want to be.

Not to mention I just can't afford to drop 50 bucks on a game and then proceed to shell out 10 bucks a month so I can play it.

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Only slightly off topic, the argument that a MMORPG is boring because it only gives you 5 fights, compared to a 2D game which gives you 500 is a bit silly. The MMORPG will be far more fun if those 5 fights are challenging, involved, intermixed with story, or with a great bunch of friends and the 2D fights are pixelated tedium. Some designers continue to try to create art rather than entertainment. They've been doing it for more than 2 decades and they'll continue to do it.

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