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robert4818

First to second gen MMO changes that have hurt rather than helped.

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robert4818    138
Perhaps this is some nostalgia talking, but there are definately some things I think were gotten right back in the days of EQ that were changed in EQ2, wow, and other games of this new generation. Most of the changes i'm going to sight are immersion changes, but still things I wish we could find a compromise with. Quest logs. While extreamly helpful, they have dumbed down quests to a series of complete the quest log tasks. I don't need a step by step set of instructions to complete a quest. It defeats the purpose. Quest logs need to be trimed downin thier "helpfulness." Give the quest name, the dialog associated with the quest, the starting location of the quest, and if the dialog specifically states a number of items / kills / etc to collect then list that. Also include an area for the player to make notes. These changes will allow for quest logs to be helpful, and at the same time, not insult my intelligence by telling me that I now need to return to farmer johnson after Ive killed 10 chickens on his farm. "Better" world design. Better world design is defined in my book as the way the game funnels lower levels through the early levels without much choice in where they go. You may have one starting zone for you're race, then once you reach a certain level you move to the next zone over (no real choice) and you start hunting there. Your quests all (with a rare exception) point you into that one zone, and then when you reach the level to go into the next zone you even get a quest that will send you there. This robs the player of choice. Sure the zones are much much bigger, but there is a distinctive lack of choice using this methodology. Instant transportation. I may be one of the rare few who actually liked the boats in EQ. They were an inconvenience, but they did add alot of immersion into the game in making it feel larger. Being able to instantly jump from one continent to the other shrinks the world. Conversations (or the list of choices) I liked the concept in old EQ of typing the highlighted word to get more on the topic, or to advance a quest. The system was very broken though. Alot of times the word just wouldn't work. However, I believe the same concept would work well with hyperlinks on the highlighted word instead of typing it. I am not a fan of having a fully scripted dialog infront of me that my only option is to click on "more" until asked a question then I get to choose versions of yes and no, or the quest is complete. Consolidating start points Definately breaking immersion, why should every member of a race / alignment start in one starting city? The reason is for better grouping at early levels, but still I think this breaks immersion. Every race should have 2-3 starting locations unless lore dictates otherwise. I.E. Humans have 2 cities and 3 towns/villages. Dark elves only have the Dark City since lore states that all Dark Elves live there. Every character having the same starting story is lame as well. These are my opinions, what are yours?

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Saruman    4339
You actually just noted 5 of the top ideas that have pushed the genre forward. I mean you may not like them, but they have started bringing MMO type games to the masses. The vast majority of players don't want to sit on a boat wasting their time, they actually want to know what to do next in a quest, etc. The start points are imo one of the greatest improvements in these types of games. When I start a fresh new game I don't want to have to try and figure out how to run somewhere for an hour or two just to play with my friends.

MMOs are getting more and more like games and less like a second job and a lot of the reason is due to some of the changes you have mentioned.

EDIT:

I just wanted to note that this is an unbiased opinion. I actually don't play any MMO type games anymore because I liked the older virtual world style as it was more like oldschool PnP RPGs.

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Palidine    1315
I agree with everything you said from a personal perspective. However, it's important to remember that all of the things you pointed out, are/were loved by only the hardcore. When any genre goes mainstream it loses it's "hardcore-ness". But it's done for very good reason: were a hardcore MMO to be released now there is zero chance it would get the multi-millions of subscribers that the n00bified MMOs get.

The problem is that to get mass appeal you need to make things "easy-mode". The casual gamer will often quit at the first confusing obstacle. While you definitely don't need to make them never die and such, you certainly need to "fix" things so that they are never lost and never confused.

The greatest testament to WoW is that my girlfriend, who doesn't ever play any games at all, is totally and completely addicted. She's horrible at it, but she'll keep given them $15/mo because it's pretty, and she knows exactly what she's supposed to do, whether or not she can complete it.

-me

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Conner McCloud    1135
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Quest logs.
While extreamly helpful, they have dumbed down quests to a series of complete the quest log tasks. I don't need a step by step set of instructions to complete a quest. It defeats the purpose. Quest logs need to be trimed downin thier "helpfulness." Give the quest name, the dialog associated with the quest, the starting location of the quest, and if the dialog specifically states a number of items / kills / etc to collect then list that. Also include an area for the player to make notes. These changes will allow for quest logs to be helpful, and at the same time, not insult my intelligence by telling me that I now need to return to farmer johnson after Ive killed 10 chickens on his farm.

OK, so you've removed "return to farmer johnson", but everything else is exactly the same. So what have you really gained? You could remove the real objective as well, but then they'd just have to put the real objective into the quest dialogue. Unless you want the player to guess how many items to collect, and just return to Farm Johnson over and over again until he's happy. So again, you haven't really gained anything. The next step would be to remove the quest log all together, but that's horribly inconvenient. Creating my own quest log and filling it with a bunch of notes isn't fun.
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
"Better" world design.
Better world design is defined in my book as the way the game funnels lower levels through the early levels without much choice in where they go. You may have one starting zone for you're race, then once you reach a certain level you move to the next zone over (no real choice) and you start hunting there. Your quests all (with a rare exception) point you into that one zone, and then when you reach the level to go into the next zone you even get a quest that will send you there. This robs the player of choice. Sure the zones are much much bigger, but there is a distinctive lack of choice using this methodology.

So you're suggesting having three or four smaller zones that the player choses from instead of one big zone that the player gets lead to? I'm unconvinced this is much of a distinction. It is only really an issue early in the game, and at that point many new players appreciate that "funneling." But also, if you replace one big zone with three small ones, you probably end up just going from one zone to the next to the next anyhow. Why is choosing which small zone to start with less interesting than choosing which quests to start with in a larger zone? So long as the big zone is designed well, both methods end up being just as fun.
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Instant transportation.
I may be one of the rare few who actually liked the boats in EQ. They were an inconvenience, but they did add alot of immersion into the game in making it feel larger. Being able to instantly jump from one continent to the other shrinks the world.

I'll take a fun game that doesn't hide the fact that the world is small over a boring game that pretends the world isn't small any day. Sitting around waiting for boats is boring.
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Conversations (or the list of choices)
I liked the concept in old EQ of typing the highlighted word to get more on the topic, or to advance a quest. The system was very broken though. Alot of times the word just wouldn't work. However, I believe the same concept would work well with hyperlinks on the highlighted word instead of typing it. I am not a fan of having a fully scripted dialog infront of me that my only option is to click on "more" until asked a question then I get to choose versions of yes and no, or the quest is complete.

This is an issue in any game. I have yet to see a game with any sort of meaningful dialogue choices.
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Consolidating start points
Definately breaking immersion, why should every member of a race / alignment start in one starting city? The reason is for better grouping at early levels, but still I think this breaks immersion. Every race should have 2-3 starting locations unless lore dictates otherwise. I.E. Humans have 2 cities and 3 towns/villages. Dark elves only have the Dark City since lore states that all Dark Elves live there. Every character having the same starting story is lame as well.

Relatively speaking, you spend very little time in the starting zones. Why develop three starting zones for every race, when players are only going to see one of them for three or four hours anyhow?

CM

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robert4818    138
Quote:
Original post by Conner McCloud
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Quest logs.
While extreamly helpful, they have dumbed down quests to a series of complete the quest log tasks. I don't need a step by step set of instructions to complete a quest. It defeats the purpose. Quest logs need to be trimed downin thier "helpfulness." Give the quest name, the dialog associated with the quest, the starting location of the quest, and if the dialog specifically states a number of items / kills / etc to collect then list that. Also include an area for the player to make notes. These changes will allow for quest logs to be helpful, and at the same time, not insult my intelligence by telling me that I now need to return to farmer johnson after Ive killed 10 chickens on his farm.

OK, so you've removed "return to farmer johnson", but everything else is exactly the same. So what have you really gained? You could remove the real objective as well, but then they'd just have to put the real objective into the quest dialogue. Unless you want the player to guess how many items to collect, and just return to Farm Johnson over and over again until he's happy. So again, you haven't really gained anything. The next step would be to remove the quest log all together, but that's horribly inconvenient. Creating my own quest log and filling it with a bunch of notes isn't fun.

As noted I said it breaks immersion, it should be obvious from the dialog what you are supposed to do, so giving the player step by step instructions is idiotic. Also, include quests which allow the player to actually figure something out on thier own. If they have to re-read the dialog and figure out some sort of information provided by it, then all the better, I feel a bigger sense of accomplishment when I figure out a location from a description about a house on a hill next to a tree, rather than a waypoint set for me.

Quote:
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
"Better" world design.
Better world design is defined in my book as the way the game funnels lower levels through the early levels without much choice in where they go. You may have one starting zone for you're race, then once you reach a certain level you move to the next zone over (no real choice) and you start hunting there. Your quests all (with a rare exception) point you into that one zone, and then when you reach the level to go into the next zone you even get a quest that will send you there. This robs the player of choice. Sure the zones are much much bigger, but there is a distinctive lack of choice using this methodology.

So you're suggesting having three or four smaller zones that the player choses from instead of one big zone that the player gets lead to? I'm unconvinced this is much of a distinction. It is only really an issue early in the game, and at that point many new players appreciate that "funneling." But also, if you replace one big zone with three small ones, you probably end up just going from one zone to the next to the next anyhow. Why is choosing which small zone to start with less interesting than choosing which quests to start with in a larger zone? So long as the big zone is designed well, both methods end up being just as fun.

It is, but i've never suggested that we go to two or three smaller zones. I said that sure the zones are bigger now, but its still one zone compared to three, I'll take three large zones over the one. I'll take three medium over one huge. I wouldn't accept 3 small over the one large, but again, the concept is immersion. Why should every player end up in the forrest of unforgiveness, when they could go to the forrest, the desert, the lake etc. I've played wow, and when you end up with one large zone with a few land marks, its not much of an improvement over the one medium zone with the same land marks, just a bit more open space.

Quote:
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Instant transportation.
I may be one of the rare few who actually liked the boats in EQ. They were an inconvenience, but they did add alot of immersion into the game in making it feel larger. Being able to instantly jump from one continent to the other shrinks the world.

I'll take a fun game that doesn't hide the fact that the world is small over a boring game that pretends the world isn't small any day. Sitting around waiting for boats is boring.
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Conversations (or the list of choices)
I liked the concept in old EQ of typing the highlighted word to get more on the topic, or to advance a quest. The system was very broken though. Alot of times the word just wouldn't work. However, I believe the same concept would work well with hyperlinks on the highlighted word instead of typing it. I am not a fan of having a fully scripted dialog infront of me that my only option is to click on "more" until asked a question then I get to choose versions of yes and no, or the quest is complete.

This is an issue in any game. I have yet to see a game with any sort of meaningful dialogue choices.

You're right, but again, an immersion issue. If you remember EQ, you may end up with two or three highlighted words ina conversation, each leading you on different string. It was annoying in implementation due to the fact that the system was a little bugged, but it could work. I would like to feel more than the yes/no/complete i usually get in WOW.
Quote:

Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Consolidating start points
Definately breaking immersion, why should every member of a race / alignment start in one starting city? The reason is for better grouping at early levels, but still I think this breaks immersion. Every race should have 2-3 starting locations unless lore dictates otherwise. I.E. Humans have 2 cities and 3 towns/villages. Dark elves only have the Dark City since lore states that all Dark Elves live there. Every character having the same starting story is lame as well.

Relatively speaking, you spend very little time in the starting zones. Why develop three starting zones for every race, when players are only going to see one of them for three or four hours anyhow?

CM

Immersion.
Does every character in EQ2 need to be a shipwreck survivor?(i know they changed this)

I happen to be a person who finds the beginning levels (say the first 20-30) the most rewarding in play. Its in those levels that you're players develop most of thier abilities. I tend to spend alot of time in the newbie areas. I find them fun when well designed.

But to ask you a question, if you make a new character do you want to spend your first 4-5 hours repeating the exact same content you went through with you're other character.

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Adriac    100
I agree with yo mostly, however most people don't play for the immersion anymore I enjoy immersion myself, the only thing I didn't agree with you about is starting zones, the race shouldn't have more than two possible starting zones, one in the northern/western part of a realm and one in the southern/eastern part of the realm depending on where they want to be when they start.

Now imo also immersion is about how real the world seems, Oblivion is the most immersive game ever, the graphics look like real life so you get lost in it, the combat is detailed, you see in 1st person so you actually think you are your character. Archtitecture matches the area of the world you are in and who lives in that city, citizens go about their life talking, doing errands, and even sometimes attacking you randomly because they are in the Mythic Dawn cult.

Im comparison to World of Warcraft, it tells you what to do step by step you have no choice in how you do your quest you must do it a certain way, thats how they made it there are few choices and they are: What race will i be, what class will i be, how will my character look, what will my professions be, what will i grind, and what equipment will i use. WoW is the least immersive game ive played but i enjoy it, Oblivion could be better with quest arrows and instant travel but besides that it is the most immersive game of all time.

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Motocrossdoug    100
Quest logs:
I think I'd agree with this, in the basic. CM, I think you're taking it a bit too litterally. :P He's trying to say "When I'm told exactly what to do, exactly as I do it, I don't really feel smart at all." not "I'd rather figgure everything out and track it myself." I think WoW really did mess quests up in this respect. Most of them, you simply do what you're told; a five year old could play this game and not get too lost...
On the turning casuals away, I'd say that's why WoW did this. Most people that would find figguring things out on their own don't really mind that much to be told what to do like that. We'd still have a ton more fun if at least some quests required a bit more thinking, and I'm sure if a game found a happy balance, they could have a somewhat casual friendly game while keeping 'hard core' gamers enticed and challenged. How they'd do this... well I don't want to think that hard when I'm not being paid. :P

world design:
I'd also agree in the concept... no choice in the location you level isn't fun... but CM is right in that, at least in WoW (somewhat... it still is pretty funneled), people can appreciate it in lower levels, and that it opens up later on. One reason I'd beleave they do 'funnel' the leveling layout is that a lot of people, even hard core gamers, will be a little overwhelmed when they can go 'anywhere'. A lot of people even said this about Morrowind or Oblivion... it's a bit daunting at first.
I'm sure most hard core, or really 'regular' gamers, would enjoy a somewhat open scheme, but there's always that initial impact of "whoah... what do I do?" if you take it too far...

instant transportation:
CM, I do beleave you're making a few assumptions when you imply most games without it are small and not very fun. :P Personally, I'd agree that it really helps with immersion to have to actually use transportation, and not have things magically happen (no pun intended!), but it also turns away the more casual gamer, in general, to have to sit around a lot.
I guess a happy medium could be found in making the transportation 'fun' to use, and perhaps a bit convenient, but not instant either. Immerse the user in the workings of it, use the time sitting around (if there's sitting time) to do other things, so they aren't bored doing it, etc... It'd definitley depend on the game, and how it's all done... so I'll leave it at these general statements. :P

Conversations:
It's always awesome when a game has dynamic conversations, but it's also hard to do it when there's no brain behind it... I guess that's why a lot of games, even new ones (like WoW), stick to traditional accept/decline, yes/no choices... it's just easier. Most people, I'd think don't really mind it, I mean games have worked this way for years, so it's not so bad to expect it, and get it.
With recent games that do a good job with dynamic convo's though, it's really starting to become apparent at how boring and uninspired this is...

Start positions:
This really depends on the game, but I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't mind some options. Always starting in the same spot, with the same story only really cuts down on replay value. As long as the game's really fun, it shouldn't be the biggest point of gripe.
There's also the thing to considder when games don't really have a starting location... when you get out so fast you don't really remember it a few days later...


All in all, though... as long as a game is really fun and devoid of overly complicated systems, or parts that are booring (like the assumption of 'sitting around' while waiting on 'immersive' transportation, etc), and is just plain smart in how it works... I'm positive noone would really have grounds to gripe about specifics like this... I mean if it works, and works well... why change it. ~.^

PS. doesn't Oblivion kind of have an instant travel? you can go to the map and click an already known location to 'instantly' travel there... it just progresses the game time accordingly while 'instantly' moving you...

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Kevinator    229
The map design thing I definitely agree with. I hate WoW primarily because the zones totally suck. There's barriers to exploration *everwhere* and no matter where I go, I never feel like I'm off on my own in the wilderness doing some exploring. Now Star Wars Galaxies; that game had FANTASTIC maps and terrain. I spent hours and hours and more hours just running around the beautiful wilderness. And not a SINGLE damn invisible wall like WoW. I could roam the wilderness for hours and not bump into a single soul. It was fantastic.

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T1Oracle    100
I disagree with everything except for you issue with conversations.

Newbs need most of that stuff. However, I do believe that for higher level players it would be fair to give more option to players in where they go, and give them less help on how to get there. MMO's need to slowly introduce the player before they increase the difficulty.

One thing that does frustrate me about world designs is that replayability is poor. You always start off and go through the same thing to get a new character up to where they actually become interesting (powerful).

Back to the issue of conversation. I am currently working on an idea for dynamic real time conversation. I am not sure how difficult it will be to make it work, but AI will be a factor. I think that AI is key to making dynamic conversation interesting. The NPC's need to do more than just respond in a preset manner, they need to have emotions and the ability to remember how you treated them in the past. If you did not help the NPC in the past they should not be so eager to assist you.

There is a lot of room for improvement in NPC to PC interaction. Right now it is very much 1 dimensional.

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EvE doesn't have any of those things, but I guess it's "last gen", coming from 2003. I love it, but it's not even a little bit user-friendly, and it has a small userbase as a result. I can't expect businessmen to make games that are going to be less popular any more than I can expect artists to have the infrastructure in place to make an MMO.

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Motocrossdoug    100
Morrowind and Oblivion have emotions taken into account in character conversation. However, it's still pretty limited, and I think they took a step back in Oblivion...

They're all tough areas, but I bet we can make a common concencus: Crappy beginnings and zones kill replay value. Through either just plain sucking or being very one-way. Other then that, a fun game has gotta' be a bit challening, and a little bit open, so it doesn't feel like we're playin' a book. People calling from older games may still prefer this, but c'mon, it's the 21st century... let's get some interactive story goin' at least. :P

To what extent and exactly how we could debate over for ever, and give examples of why this worked so well or that tanked... It's all pretty situational... if you have a bad game, for what ever reason, it's going to reflect bad on everything else. If you have a killer game, it's going to make certain things look better. I guess it all depends on how you do things on a per game basis... a fun game is just a fun game! The ones that really stand out always have quite a few things that made them shine... and all of them have one thing in common:

what ever was designed in fit well and was fun to play.

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KGodwin    174
Saruman is right unfortunately, us 'hard-core' gamers are really the only ones that would want most to all of those 5 features removed. The only way your going to get what you want is to make an Indie MMO and accept from the outset that your not going to do well financially because the *other main thing* the majority of hard core gamers want is great graphics and the other kind of content that can't be produced by an small indie team anywhere near the quantity of a Retail MMO.

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Akanaaz    100
Well, I think the only thing I'd agree on is quest involvment. If I can do more then select yes, no, or complete, I find it more immersive. If some/most quests had 2 or more endings, or ways to accomplish them, it'd be more interactive. Of course, kill 10 hedgehogs isnt going to change, but the more in depth quests may.

Also, the zones in WoW SUCK. Every zone is closed except a couple paths, and everything is grouped. No need to explore, the zones are really kinda small. And there isnt really a reward for exploring either.

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DarkMortar    127
I totally agree with waiting for travel. Its the ignorance of the masses that want everything "Now, now." Well I'll tell you what, there is nothing better than being immersed in a game-world, to me, what happens BEFORE the combat is the best part, because it makes it a special event. And it makes you more dedicated and serious. And a game must go beyond the combat to be good. Yet combat must be good and deep, with CONTENT. Its just like how all new movies need their new fast-paced action when the plot is terrible nowadays. This is always true, whenever a genre expands to the larger crowd, prepare to be dumped. The golden age is over and every game tries to be the same now.

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Calabi    124
It seems to me that everyone presumes that Wow and other MMOs are popular is because people are stupid and they need things to be dumbed down. I dont think thats the case, its just that no one has come up with a decent and intelligent format that is a little forgiving.

It would be quite easy to make quests which dont completely hand you the answer and yet if you need and ask for more information it gives it to you. The trouble with most quests or puzzles in games, is theres not enough connections, all that is required, is for you to figure the exact pathway that the programmers created for you, and usually there is only one way of finding that out.

As for the teleportation I think that is a problem, if you have that in a world then depending on how intelligently you built it. In certain small areas you will have large numbers of people because of the ease of travel and certain things that people require in those areas. If you do not have instant travel then people will have to think more about where they travel and they may end up more spread out and stick to certain smaller areas.

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Way Walker    745
Quote:
Original post by Torquemeda
As for the teleportation I think that is a problem, if you have that in a world then depending on how intelligently you built it. In certain small areas you will have large numbers of people because of the ease of travel and certain things that people require in those areas. If you do not have instant travel then people will have to think more about where they travel and they may end up more spread out and stick to certain smaller areas.


Yeah, kinda like real life, huh? [smile]

We don't have teleportation, but you tend to get larger numbers of people where travel is easiest. That's why St. Louis was the gateway to the West. That's why Chicago beat out St. Louis. That's why Duluth is pretty much in the middle of no where. That's why San Francisco grew. Coming from a rural area, I can tell you that the only reason many small towns still exist is because they're on a railroad line.

Sure, combat isn't the only thing in a MMORPG. Sure, it's everything surrounding the combat that I really enjoy in MMORPG's. However, one thing I don't enjoy is setting "auto-run" for twenty minutes to see something new. "But you'll miss the scenery!" Yeah, if I wanted scenery, I'd take a trip to the coast or something IRL. And, I'll tell you, I'll fly, or at least drive, before I walk there.

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kseh    3838
Quote:
Original post by Conner McCloud
Quote:
Original post by robert4818
Quest logs.
While extreamly helpful, they have dumbed down quests to a series of complete the quest log tasks. I don't need a step by step set of instructions to complete a quest. It defeats the purpose. Quest logs need to be trimed downin thier "helpfulness." Give the quest name, the dialog associated with the quest, the starting location of the quest, and if the dialog specifically states a number of items / kills / etc to collect then list that. Also include an area for the player to make notes. These changes will allow for quest logs to be helpful, and at the same time, not insult my intelligence by telling me that I now need to return to farmer johnson after Ive killed 10 chickens on his farm.

OK, so you've removed "return to farmer johnson", but everything else is exactly the same. So what have you really gained? You could remove the real objective as well, but then they'd just have to put the real objective into the quest dialogue. Unless you want the player to guess how many items to collect, and just return to Farm Johnson over and over again until he's happy. So again, you haven't really gained anything. The next step would be to remove the quest log all together, but that's horribly inconvenient. Creating my own quest log and filling it with a bunch of notes isn't fun.


I don't see why a quest log couldn't just tell you about what's happened in the past and not so much what you need to do in the future. If the log records the conversation you had with farmer Johnson, then at some point he probably said, "Please get 10 apples and return them to me." Everything I need to complete the quest is right there. I don't need to be told what step I'm on. If there was some complication or twist to the quest, then that should be recorded too. "The evil Baron von Brickenbracken has poisoned all the trees in the orchard and no apples are growing. I must find a new source."

There's leading the player and then there's leading the player.

As for conversation systems, as mentioned, they've all sucked ever since the first games have come out.

The other things I can't comment on because I haven't really played any MMOs.

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makeshiftwings    398
Quote:
Original post by kseh
I don't see why a quest log couldn't just tell you about what's happened in the past and not so much what you need to do in the future. If the log records the conversation you had with farmer Johnson, then at some point he probably said, "Please get 10 apples and return them to me." Everything I need to complete the quest is right there. I don't need to be told what step I'm on. If there was some complication or twist to the quest, then that should be recorded too. "The evil Baron von Brickenbracken has poisoned all the trees in the orchard and no apples are growing. I must find a new source."

There's leading the player and then there's leading the player.

As for conversation systems, as mentioned, they've all sucked ever since the first games have come out.

The other things I can't comment on because I haven't really played any MMOs.


You will begin to develop an appreciation for quest logs as your life gets busier and you begin to have non-gaming responsibilities like work or family. The quest log isn't there because the casual gamers are more stupid than you; it's there because they are busier and don't get to play as much. So they log off after their conversation with Farmer Johnson, deal with a multitude of real life issues that are vastly more important to remember than where Farmer Johnson told them to go and exactly how many apples he wanted, and then log back into the game three days later. At that point, they only have an hour to play before they have to go walk the dog or go to work, and they don't want to spend half of that time re-reading the last twelve pages of their journal trying to remember what exactly they were doing when they logged off.

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Calabi    124
Quote:
You will begin to develop an appreciation for quest logs as your life gets busier and you begin to have non-gaming responsibilities like work or family. The quest log isn't there because the casual gamers are more stupid than you; it's there because they are busier and don't get to play as much. So they log off after their conversation with Farmer Johnson, deal with a multitude of real life issues that are vastly more important to remember than where Farmer Johnson told them to go and exactly how many apples he wanted, and then log back into the game three days later. At that point, they only have an hour to play before they have to go walk the dog or go to work, and they don't want to spend half of that time re-reading the last twelve pages of their journal trying to remember what exactly they were doing when they logged off.


Yeah I agree with that, although I think thats more a problem with the large amount of gameplay in the few MMORPGS that I have played which is mostly long and tedious. For instance Crafting and building involves you sitting and waiting for bars to fill up, collecting ingredients from plants or objects and such waiting for bars to fill up. Even the combat is generally tedious, it taking many hits to kill simple foes like rats or orcs. I dont really believe anyone enjoys these things in themselves, its the rewards that they get from them, etc. exp and items.

Perhaps if a game made those parts shorter and didnt lead people by the hand telling them where to go so much and rewarded people for finding their own ways. Also if the emphasis wasnt so much on rushing to get towards the end and if the obssesion wasnt to become UBER LVL 60 Warrior number 7802. Perhaps if the combat had more subtlety and more of the general gameplay was fun and had variety then people might be more willing to explore and experiment in it no matter how little time they have.

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makeshiftwings    398
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Original post by Torquemeda
Yeah I agree with that, although I think thats more a problem with the large amount of gameplay in the few MMORPGS that I have played which is mostly long and tedious. For instance Crafting and building involves you sitting and waiting for bars to fill up, collecting ingredients from plants or objects and such waiting for bars to fill up. Even the combat is generally tedious, it taking many hits to kill simple foes like rats or orcs. I dont really believe anyone enjoys these things in themselves, its the rewards that they get from them, etc. exp and items.

Perhaps if a game made those parts shorter and didnt lead people by the hand telling them where to go so much and rewarded people for finding their own ways. Also if the emphasis wasnt so much on rushing to get towards the end and if the obssesion wasnt to become UBER LVL 60 Warrior number 7802. Perhaps if the combat had more subtlety and more of the general gameplay was fun and had variety then people might be more willing to explore and experiment in it no matter how little time they have.


I think it's a matter of perspective. What you call "being led by the hand" is what other people call "an engaging storyline". What you call "being rewarded for finding your own way" is what other people call "i spent an hour running around the stupid woods trying to find the quest guy before I gave up and googled his location".

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What it seems to come down to is that people want their MMOs to closely mimick single-player games, but with co-op and the presence of noobers to whom you are superior. Story, linear quests, a clear hierarchy of equipment that scales with your level so you're always getting better on the same scale that everyone else is measured on all reek of instant gratification and shallow gameplay. As long as you go in there and walk on the treadmill, you get a level up and a grateful NPC populace and phat lewt.

I don't like that, myself, but I don't like most MMOs, so I guess it's just a matter of not liking the conventions of the genre that are most popular right now.

It seems to me that Robert4818 is in the same position I'm in. SO we can either discuss "MMO" as a million-dollar enterprise that makes its money by catering to the inclinations of the user base, or we can have a less practical discussion about an MMO that accomplishes something other than fiscial success.

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makeshiftwings    398
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Original post by Iron Chef Carnage
Story, linear quests, a clear hierarchy of equipment that scales with your level so you're always getting better on the same scale that everyone else is measured on all reek of instant gratification and shallow gameplay. As long as you go in there and walk on the treadmill, you get a level up and a grateful NPC populace and phat lewt.

If you don't like leveling, equipment, stats, quests, and stories, then I really don't think you should be trying to call your dream game an MMORPG. How about MMOVE4CAKTD for Massively Multiplayer Online Virtual Environment For Complaining About Kids These Days?

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Dumptruck    222
I can't really say it better than Saruman. But I'll try.

In reference to WoW, one of the most important design decisions made was accessibility. This is where EQ failed. Sacrificing fun for simulation mechanics is a big mistake. All of your points relate to that argument.

You notice the gun in Half-Life never jams? Or it reloads automatically? Or they don't present 10 different ways to navigate the environment? All of those were intentional design decisions that removed the simulation to preserve the fun.

Does anyone miss your character becoming overburdened in EQ with equipment? Or having to eat food just to be able to walk a straight line? Or having to run to your corpse and equip every single piece of gear? Or losing experience for dying? The answer is a resounding NO.

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Calabi    124
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I think it's a matter of perspective. What you call "being led by the hand" is what other people call "an engaging storyline". What you call "being rewarded for finding your own way" is what other people call "i spent an hour running around the stupid woods trying to find the quest guy before I gave up and googled his location".


Why does everything have to be completely linear for it to be a good story, why do you only have to have one quest person to whom directs you exactly where to go. Why couldnt you have several npcs which tell you possible ways of doing something or they give you more or differing information and you have to choose which way and how to approach it. Depending on how involved you get with this you could just have the quick simple quest fix or a more complex convoluted quest.

As long as it always has approachable ways with npcs that know something or they know someone who knows something. And they dont expect you to go fishing and pull things out of thin air then I dont see how you can waste much time with it.

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robert4818    138
The quest log should remain extreamly useful, and designed to where you can quickly return to where you were in a quest before leaving. Counters are useful, as are waypoints when appropriate. (I.E.if you are given directions to a place, a waypoint is appropriate. If you are told to find a secret place then its not)

My original complaint is that it goes too far in leading by the hand. Simplifying the quest log requires that the quests be better written.

EQ did alot of things that I didn't like and don't really want to see come back. Corpse runs, de-leveling, etc.

But there were quite a few things that helped with immersion that I really wish they would bring back.

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