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  1. #1
    Senior Member MacDeath's Avatar
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    MMOs Designed to please players are doomed to fail!

    Nathan's recent Blog post got me to thinking about a post I made on the Rift forums back in 2010...
    Should the devs listen to the players? Of course. Should the devs abdicate their responsibility for overall game design and put in all the changes some players want? NO, no, & NO!

    Here's the link to my thread on the Rift forums:
    http://forums.riftgame.com/rift-gene...omed-fail.html

    Richard Bartle got it right and years ago too. Many features that players think they like are bad for the game and many features that players think they don't like are good for the game. What's a designer to do? Well, how about building a GREAT game and convincing the players it has the feature set its supposed to have?

    Here is the short form of RBs thoughts: http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur...orlds_are_.php
    "Soapbox: Why Virtual Worlds are Designed By Newbies - No, Really!
    by Richard Bartle "
    "Virtual worlds are being designed by know-nothing newbies, and there's not a damned thing anyone can do about it. I don't mean newbie designers, I mean newbie players - first timers. They're dictating design through a twisted "survival of the not-quite-fittest" form of natural selection that will lead to a long-term decay in quality, guaranteed. If you think some of today's offerings are garbage, just you wait…"

    for the long form read Richard's book.

    More info on Richard:
    Richard Bartle

    Richard Bartle co-wrote the first virtual world, MUD ("Multi-User Dungeon") in 1978, and has thus been at the forefront of the online games industry from its very inception. A former lecturer in Artificial Intelligence and current Visiting Professor in Computer Game Design (both at the University of Essex, U.K.), he is an influential writer on all aspects of virtual world design, development, and management. As an independent consultant, he has worked with most of the major online game companies in the UK and the U.S. over the past 20 years. His 2003 book, Designing Virtual Worlds, has already established itself as a foundation text for researchers and developers of virtual worlds alike.

    More about THE BOOK here: http://mud.co.uk/dvw/
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    The few, the proud, the DEFIANT!

  2. #2
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    I'm sure most of them have read it, Bartle is a popular name. Many of the ideas [edit: in the blog] amount to cleaning up design and adding more features, which don't seem too destructive even if they don't turn out well.

    There are a couple of concepts I saw there, though, which do give me pause and perhaps you're referring to those. Some of the weapon scaling/loot ideas definitely seem to have the tone you seem concerned about--giving players (in this case, I believe a minority) what they ask for even though it will actually decrease interest in the game in the long run.

  3. #3
    Member duction's Avatar
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    Should they make them to not please players? Lol
    Defiance 2050 - EU XBOX ONE | Clan: Ark Legion Elite | GT: mech | ign: tom
    Defiance - EU XBOX 360 | Clan: Ark Legion Elite | GT: mech | ign: tom

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by duction View Post
    Should they make them to not please players? Lol
    I'm not sure if you're just trying to be funny or if you didn't catch what he was saying, but here's a short version:
    Players are often bad at predicting what will make them stick with a game. While their feedback shouldn't be ignored entirely, it also can't be taken as gospel because most players' ideas lack long-term perspective and result in games that die out quickly.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rizaun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by duction View Post
    Should they make them to not please players? Lol
    There are things that some players request that makes them think that the game will be better, like nerfing every kind of content that they can't beat, saying things like "I have a life, everyone that is better than me has none, the game needs to be more friendly and it'll get more players", then they nerf the content, the challenge is removed, no sense of accomplishment, no child left behind and people get bored of playing a game that takes no effort.

  6. #6
    Member duction's Avatar
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    Too much coffee... Ignore me.. I'm sure most do
    Defiance 2050 - EU XBOX ONE | Clan: Ark Legion Elite | GT: mech | ign: tom
    Defiance - EU XBOX 360 | Clan: Ark Legion Elite | GT: mech | ign: tom

  7. #7
    This is a good post. Intriguing and I can see exactly how it would be true.

    I am tempted to get your thoughts on my Arkfall thread then - it's in suggestions. Do you think my suggestions are in line with your post here or are they genuine improvements?

    Think I will pick up a copy of this book.
    PS3 | ZenPro

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Rizaun View Post
    There are things that some players request that makes them think that the game will be better, like nerfing every kind of content that they can't beat, saying things like "I have a life, everyone that is better than me has none, the game needs to be more friendly and it'll get more players", then they nerf the content, the challenge is removed, no sense of accomplishment, no child left behind and people get bored of playing a game that takes no effort.
    The choice is between making a small amount of content that is so difficult only a handful of players will stick around to try to beat over and over...content does not have to be massive as the content takes so long nobody ever gets through it. The problem here is it will attract very few people, but those people stick around because it takes so long to do anything (aka grind) and players never get through to the end.

    Or make content most people will be able to beat, but requires more content overall to keep players interested. This will attract more players, but players will be able to do it and so need more of it.

    What usually happens instead is a small amount of content is created and then to keep more players interested they make it easy enough for your normal non-career player...the issue is not in the difficulty, but in the fact that not enough content is produced.

    If they built more content, with great variety, then it would attract the largest group of people. Unfortunately this requires effort on the part of the devs, and money from investors to get it all up and running. This is why we don't see this in new games, and everyone keeps on moaning.

    Hope you follow.

  9. #9
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    No, there are MILLION of ways to design MMORPGs (they are more complex than any other game type by 100000.. even ape can design some linear stuff... whats most of the game industry) so better to hear what players has to say so the gap between players and developers doesnt grow too wide.

    As for Defiance, I think its just great, this genre is finally moving forward to different kind of games.

  10. #10
    Frankly, I disagree that MMOs MUST attract gamers only based on dragging out current content. There's nothing wrong with making easily completable content, so long as there's a constant stream of new content. The "constant stream of new content" seems to be Trion's aim.

    For the matter, times have changed. A lot of our presumptions about MMOs need not be so. Presumptions like dedicated central host, non-moddable content, persistence of world/neverending world, etc.

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