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What keeps players coming back to an MMOG.  I have never played an MMOG but recently was thinking of dabbling in some hobby design of one.  But seeing as I have no experience with them I figure I'd ask here what makes players come back for more in an MMOG, is it the social interaction, coop quests, exploration, dicovery...?  My imagination is leading me towards an MMORPG so if you have specific opinions with regards to them please share, if you have an opinion on other MMOG's again please share.

 

Thanks in advance for your input.

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I'm baffled by why you would try to design a game in a genre you don't play

 

To be perfectly honest so was I, but it seems to be an itch I have to scratch.

 

 

 

Different players are interested in different things:
Hearts, Clubs, Diamonds, Spades: Players who Suit MUDs

 

Thanks for that, I took a brief look... I'll read it later.  What should I search for to find the 8 role breakdown?

Edited by Infinisearch

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Thanks for that, I took a brief look... I'll read it later.  What should I search for to find the 8 role breakdown?


Wikipedia has a list of the categories, without much description.

 

I read the write-up about it in a book, and I can't find an online article talking about it.

 

Here's the graph though:

 

Untitled41.png

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I'm baffled by why you would try to design a game in a genre you don't play
I agree, it's a suicide. Especially with MMOs which are very specific and do require from the administrator (not developer since developing such game is easy, the hard part comes later) specific knowledge and experience.

 

Do yourself a favour and don't do it :)

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I think I am going to try the opposite advice - Go for it, design an MMO. I am not disagreeing with any of the advice given to you so far about difficulties inherent, but sometimes you have to butt your head up against a brick wall if only to see if you can break through it...and who knows you might be the metaphorical grandmaster of some oriental discipline (or just your typical average Scottish guy) and be able to Glasgow kiss your way through. Either way I figure you might learn something of value. Good luck :)

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Albeit long, the following is a curious thread about the game "YoVille." Some of the posts are from the players:

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/652115-zynga-pulls-plug-on-yoville-million-in-yocash-evaporate/#entry5122806

 

It gives you a notion of the type of person that plays these massively social online games.

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I think I am going to try the opposite advice - Go for it, design an MMO. I am not disagreeing with any of the advice given to you so far about difficulties inherent, but sometimes you have to butt your head up against a brick wall if only to see if you can break through it..
It's not about difficulty, actually MMOs are the easiest to make (it took me 2 weeks to make a fully playable version of my first MMO without prior experience with these). The thing is understanding the audience. If you never were there... well, most likely you will sink. You see, "normal" games are a product, a game, MMOs are a service, a world. It's a different mindset.

 

But to give a practical advice, consider this: There was a chat, people went there to hang around, but since sometimes there was no one to talk to some devs started to add a game to the chat. That's how this genre emerged :) I know it might be a bit of extraggeration, but only a bit, in its core it's very true. Once you understand this you understand the MMO players :)

(note: I make a living making MMOs, but on the other hand I don't earn that much at all so maybe it is me who don't get it :D)

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What keeps players coming back to an MMOG.

 

I actively dislike MMOs and have limited experience playing EVE, that Warhammer Fantasy one, Secret World, and MechWarrior Online.  I can only tell you what I found compelling and liked about a few of them and what made me run from all of them.

 

Things that Made Me Want to Stay:  An art style that is tonally resonant with the story.  Good UI design that allows me loads of information when I need it but doesn't clutter the screen when I don't. 

 

Things that Made Me Want to Holler:  The BUY! BUY! BUY! mentality of the item/whatever stores -- I don't like spending real money on imaginary shit.  Obvious grindy game mechanisms.  Characters that MUST progress in a particular way to remain effective.

 

But, like online forums, it was generally the people who drove me away. 

 

May I suggest that, if my acronym memory serves, you drop an M?  Lose "massively" and you'll likely create an fun multiplayer game.

 

I'm just an old man lamenting the days of LAN parties...

 

Good Luck!

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MMOs are my favorite game genre, though oddly enough I have basically the same list of dislikes as GoCatGo.  Cash shops and other players both run the gamut from 'awful' to 'tolerable', with the average being somewhere around 'unpleasant'.  Some grinding I'm cool with, if it fits what I want to roleplay, like crafting 100 planks because I want to build a house, or spending 5 minutes playing a minigame each time I want to craft a batch of dye or a sword or whatever.  So basically minigame grinding, sim-gameplay grinding, and also tactical PvE combat are the kinds of grinding I could enjoy rather than complain about.  I like quests too, but not to the point where they become grind, as they commonly do about 2/3 of the way to an MMO's level cap.  The main reason I love MMOs is the feeling of being in a living world where I (as my avatar) can gain an understanding of how that unique world works and use my earned mastery of magic/crafting/etc. to live a stylish life as a wealthy, powerful, and famous person within that world.  Not too different from playing a single-player game like Skyrim, except that presence of other players in the world helps make it feel alive.  Other people play MMOs for totally different reasons than me though.

 

The fact that I do love MMOs and have spent a lot of time playing them and thinking about how I'd design one means I have some really strong opinions *cough*biases*cough* about what kind of MMOs other people should be designing and making.  So that's why I'm trying to restrain myself here and not start preaching about the 'perfect' MMO obviously being a solo-friendly crafting-focused sandpark game with a non-earth fantasy or science-fantasy setting and limited initial customization because customizations should be earned within the game, and no classes because classes are evil and icky... wink.png  Yeah.  Basically I can't tone myself down enough to talk without bias to someone who doesn't already have their own opinions about what makes a good MMO, which would most likely require them to have experience playing MMOs.

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I'm in agreement with SunAndShadows on alot of MMO design-related issues (though with some differences in tastes about some aspects).

 

However, I want to highlight two of his her statements here as especially important, design-wise:

 

and limited initial customization because customizations should be earned within the game, and no classes because classes are evil and icky...

Sun and Shadow is coming at this from a different angle than I am, but I want to underline the significance of these two for other reasons. 

 

Pre-boxed classes have both pros and cons (for example, limiting diversity by forcing people into a limited number of pigeon-holes), one of the issues with classes is that it forces players to make important, long-lasting decisions (infact, the single most important decision of their character) before they even begin playing the game, guaranteeing that when faced with the decision, they are entirely lacking in the knowledge necessary to make an informed decision, unless they spend hours and hours reading details online before even starting the game.

 

When a player begins playing a game, the more important and permanent a decision is, the longer it should take before the game forces them to make that choice. And yes, you can use the choices as rewards for in-game progression if you want.

 

 

Mod edit: fixed your pronoun for me. wink.png

Edited by sunandshadow

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I don't really play MMOs, but I'd like to add to what Servant just wrote by giving support to the idea of classes as rewards: the player would start out without a class (perhaps given some general name, according to the setting), and can progress up all trees at will. However, completion of certain in-game tasks might include the reward of a class, which, in addition to the title, would provide particular bonuses (and perhaps penalties) along with access to a small class-specific skill tree. In some cases access to the class might depend on maintaining some standard of performance--think of a D&D paladin, being required to avoid evil acts--failure at which might result in loss of the class and thus loss of access to the class features. However, the class may be earned again, in which case the player's previous progress is retained--nothing is lost.

 

For example, you might have an in-game battle event; players who perform particularly well, who stay near their comrades and who aid their fellows a certain number of times either by assisting in kills or defending from attackers earn the "soldier" class. This class provides a passive bonus to defensive skills whenever the player has at least three allies within a certain (fairly short) range, and provide a tree of skills that buff allies, as well as a skill that allows a small group of "soldiers" to perform a coordinated charge against an enemy, doing significant damage on contact.

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Albeit long, the following is a curious thread about the game "YoVille." Some of the posts are from the players:

http://www.gamedev.net/topic/652115-zynga-pulls-plug-on-yoville-million-in-yocash-evaporate/#entry5122806

 

It gives you a notion of the type of person that plays these massively social online games.

 

I haven't read all of it but wow I didn't realize how attached people got.  I've seen people feel moved by single player games but not like that, they seem really attached.

 

Thanks for that.

Edited by Infinisearch

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I haven't read all of it but wow I didn't realize how attached people got.  I've seen people feel moved by single player games but not like that, they seem really attached.

 

Oh, there are people who get really attached to single-player games, but you wouldn't run into a community of them unless you went looking.  There are tons of fanart, fanfic, cosplays, etc. for several of the more popular series of single-player games, like Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls.

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I haven't read all of it but wow I didn't realize how attached people got.  I've seen people feel moved by single player games but not like that, they seem really attached.

 

Oh, there are people who get really attached to single-player games, but you wouldn't run into a community of them unless you went looking.  There are tons of fanart, fanfic, cosplays, etc. for several of the more popular series of single-player games, like Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls.

 

 

I know I've done it myself ages ago, but this seems somehow different.

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I haven't read all of it but wow I didn't realize how attached people got.  I've seen people feel moved by single player games but not like that, they seem really attached.

 

Oh, there are people who get really attached to single-player games, but you wouldn't run into a community of them unless you went looking.  There are tons of fanart, fanfic, cosplays, etc. for several of the more popular series of single-player games, like Final Fantasy and Elder Scrolls.

 

 

I know I've done it myself ages ago, but this seems somehow different.

 

If it's different, I would say the main difference is between what a group of mainly introvert fans with no social media support do and what a group of mixed introvert and extrovert fans with some social media support do.  For example, I've heard several people express that they felt panicked, upset, and bereft when they ran out of Skyrim to play, but there's no obvious way for them to connect with others who feel the same way.  Similarly while they were avidly playing Skyrim there was no obvious way for them to chat with other people who were playing the same game at the same time.  So MMO fans tend to be more connected to each other than single-player fans, both during and after playing.

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I've heard several people express that they felt panicked, upset, and bereft when they ran out of Skyrim to play

 

Wow I never knew, I guess I just never invested myself that much.  The closest I know of are some COD addicts who are friends.

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